Former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk has been out of the Octagon for nearly three years, but he maintains that he has not retired from mixed martial arts.
At 39, one must wonder how much "The Muscle Shark" really has left to offer the sport and how well he will be able to add to his legacy moving forward.
According to Sherk himself, who recently spoke with bjpenn.com, the question of legacy is irrelevant at this point, as he believes he has already done enough to earn the honor of immortality via entrance to the UFC Hall of Fame.
"I want to be known as one of the best fighters in the world during my era," he proclaimed. "I think I did make my mark, I fought the best of the best. I've fought for world title in multiple weight classes."
For much of his UFC career, Sherk was forced to compete at welterweight, though his diminutive frame regularly put him at a marked size disadvantage. He was often able to overcome the handicap, earning a title shot opposite Matt Hughes in 2003.
After losing to Hughes, Sherk bolted from the promotion but returned in 2005, splitting contests with Georges St-Pierre (loss) and Nick Diaz (win).
In 2006, Sherk became the first champion of the UFC's refurbished lightweight class, defeating Kenny Florian in a bloody five-round affair.
Sherk successfully defended his belt one time, but he and and opponent Hermes Franca both tested positive for PEDs in their post-fight screenings.
During Sherk's suspension, B.J. Penn captured the vacated lightweight strap. When Sherk returned to action, he was thumped by Penn, who concluded their bout via TKO at the end of the third round.
After failing to regain his title, Sherk posted a 2-1 record in the Octagon before a laundry list of injuries put a halt to his career. He last competed in September of 2010.
All in all, Sherk's UFC career is most certainly an impressive one. He overcame a size disadvantage to post impressive results before winning a title at a more natural weight.
But his 8-4 record with the UFC is unspectacular, if good, and the positive PED test somewhat mars his accomplishments.
Still, Sherk remains steadfast in his belief that he should be enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame.
"I think I did create myself a legacy as being one of the best in my era," he reaffirmed. "I'd like to be recognized as a UFC Hall of Famer."
What do you think? Did Sherk do enough in the Octagon to ticket himself to the Hall of Fame? Or was he good but just not good enough to join such elite company?
Leave your thoughts in the comments.