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UFC can't escape controversial week in sports

It was a bad week for the world of sports.  Michael Vick was indicted on federal dog-fighting charges; the FBI is investigating NBA ref Tim Donaghy for betting on NBA games, including possibly games he officiated; and David Beckham's much heralded debut for MLS' LA Galaxy was a short one due to a bum ankle.

Unfortunately, MMA joined these other sports with some bad news of its own this past week.  On Thursday, word came down that UFC 73 lightweight title fighters Sean Sherk and Hermes Franca both tested positive for steroids at UFC 73.  Both fighters were suspended for one year and fined $2,500 for their positive test results.

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However, it still remains to be seen what will become of the UFC lightweight division as well as its belt in the aftermath of these events.  Will Dana White strip Sherk of his title?  This seems to be the only logical choice to make, given that Sherk won't fight for at least a year.  White could set up a lightweight title fight in the next two or three months to crown a new champion.

While the news of the positive drug test results is not good, at least it shows that there is a viable system in place and this system appears to be working.  Now that MMA is beginning to generate more money and garner more mainstream attention, there will be those athletes looking for whatever edge they can muster.  As we've seen in other sports, this is inevitable.  The only thing the sports leagues and sanctioning bodies can do is have a system in place to catch the cheaters.  It appears MMA and UFC have just such a system in place.

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