Sports by the Numbers MMA
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425 Date (4/25) of 2003 when a 16-0-1 Sean Sherk looked to take the welterweight title from a 32-3 Matt Hughes at UFC 42. Hughes won the belt in November 2002 when he slammed Carlos Newton into near oblivion (and knocked himself loopy in the process). He went on to defend the title three times winning each fight via TKO.

 

Sherk though seemed his toughest test. His only blemish had been a draw against Kiuma Kunioku at Pancrase in 2001 and he was 3-0 in the UFC. And due to a dispute regarding his contract between his management and the UFC this fight became something of a must win for Sherk to even remain with the promotion!

 

The five round fight was the feature on a great card. Earlier in the evening at UFC 42 Rich Franklin had stopped Evan Tanner, the entertaining Genki Sudo lost a decision to Duane Ludwig, and Pete Spratt submitted Robbie Lawler due to injury. The card had seen a little bit of everything and the last bout fit right in. It went the distance with Sherk winning two rounds and Hughes winning three to retain the welterweight belt.

 

So on this day five years ago Sherk suffered his first loss and Hughes held on to the belt. He kept it for one more fight before being submitted by B.J. Penn at UFC 46. Interestingly enough, here we are on April 25, 2008 and Sherk and Penn are squarely in the spotlight again. This time they will face each other in less than a month to determine who the real UFC lightweight champion is and it will surely be exciting.

For more numbers and stories like this, MMA numbers in the news, and opinion on current events check out my blog at Sports by the Numbers MMA.

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