by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Coming off of a tough loss to now UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn it would have been understandable if former title holder, Sean Sherk, wanted to ease back into top competition with a couple of warm up fights. The former champion wanted none of that for UFC 90 and actually requested his opponent to ensure he’d stay as a top contender in the division.
"I asked for this fight, I actually asked for this fight. After the Penn fight was over I could have very easily taken a couple of steps down, taken a couple of tune up fights, to slowly work my way back up," Sherk told MMAWeekly.com after the fight. "I asked for Tyson Griffin, he’s been winning a lot of fights, he gets fight of the night, people look at him as a contender, I want to be a contender again. I want to fight for another world title. I want to be 2 time UFC champion, that’s my goal."
Sherk came out of the gate strong and maintained his stand-up for all three rounds en route to a unanimous decision win over a very tough opponent in Tyson Griffin. The Minnesota based fighter talked about his gameplan going into the fight, and how he expected the bout to go with Griffin.
"The gameplan was to show a three dimensional fight, that’s what I want to do," Sherk stated. "I want to show some boxing, want to show some wrestling, I want to show some ground stuff. Tyson’s a real hard guy to take down, I felt real comfortable on the feet with him, so I didn’t want to spend too much time fighting for takedowns and burning too much energy."
While Sherk did manage a couple of takedowns in the fight, the majority of the battle took place on the feet and he did a great job of setting up big combinations throughout the night to keep Griffin off balance.
For Tyson Griffin’s part, he did attempt a couple of takedowns, which Sherk says he expected, but overall the fight went exactly as planned.
"I expected him to shoot, I’m sure he expected me to shoot. But I actually expected this to be a stand-up fight."
Following the win and a $65,000 bonus from the UFC for his part in "Fight of the Night", Sherk says his attention will turn to the fight between Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson, who he believes are the 2 top contenders in the division.
"I hope I get to fight the winner of those two, that’s what I want to happen," Sherk said in closing about the Florian/Stevenson fight.