Today, following reports over the weekend that Sean Sherk had been stripped of the lightweight title, the UFC officially announced their decision to no longer recognize Sherk as the promotion’s title-holder:
After the California State Athletic Commission decision on Dec. 4 to reduce, but uphold, Sean Sherk’s suspension for a positive banned substance test, the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization withdrew recognition from Sherk as UFC Lightweight Champion.
The announcement also carried news that BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will now do battle for the vacant lightweight title instead of an interim title as was previously announced:
BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will now compete for the 155-pound championship in the main event of January 19th’s UFC 80: RAPID FIRE card in Newcastle, England.
Sherk will not have to wait long for his chance to reclaim the lightweight title as he will take on the winner of the January title bout later in 2008.