by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Sean Sherk is still looking to fight top contenders, and has some very strong ideas about whom he wants to face next.

MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday asked the former UFC lightweight champion about his plans for the future. At the moment, he is taking time off with his family, getting ready to sack it in for the holidays.

At the top of his Christmas list: a bout with Diego Sanchez.

“If he wants to drop to 155, I’d like to be the first guy that fights him,” Sherk said.

Later in the day, at a public question and answer session for the UFC’s pending “Fight for the Troops” show on Wednesday night in Fayetteville, N.C., UFC president Dana White confirmed that the first winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” was dropping to the 155-pound division.

“I think I match up great with him,” Sherk said. “I think his ground game is phenomenal, but so is mine. I know his conditioning is phenomenal. So is mine. His boxing… is okay. But I think it would be a great match-up. You get two guys that are really aggressive fighters who have great conditioning who are going to go and bang it out for fifteen minutes.”

As one of the division’s best ground and pound stylists, Sherk is well aware he may spend the entire fight fending off submissions.

“I’ve seen him at Abu Dhabi (Submission Wrestling Championships), and that’s when it really opened my eyes as to how good he is with his match against Marcelo Garcia; that match was close, real close, for ten minutes, then Diego made a mistake and got caught. But his ground game was phenomenal. So that would definitely pose some problems for me; I’d have to be at the top of my game, and wouldn’t be able to make any mistakes.”

Sherk would also like another crack at Kenny Florian, despite the fact he was victorious in their UFC 64 meeting that crowned him champion.

“Dana’s saying Kenny’s the number one contender, so I would love to get a shot with him, even though I’ve already beat him,” he said. “Whatever. I’d fight him again.”

A close, and maybe surprising, third is Nate Diaz. Sherk says the younger brother of Nick Diaz and winner of the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is hot right now and deserves to face the upper echelon of the division.

“I would really put him as one of the top guys in the weight class right now,” he said.
The goal is still the same. Sherk wants his title back, and will not accept any tune-up fights.

“I want to push myself and challenge myself,” he said. “I’ve got 41 professional fights. I feel like I’ve accomplished everything in this industry a guy could ever dream of accomplishing, and now, at this point in my career, I only want to fight the best guys. That’s all I’m interested in. I’m not here to collect paydays. I just want to test myself and finish my career knowing that I fought the best of the best and beat them.”