The fight was for the UFC lightweight championship with Sean Sherk defending. After the fight, with a successful defense of the title by Sherk in a five-round unanimous judge's decision, both fighters tested positive for steroids and were banned by the athletic commission and Sherk was stripped of the title.
The first round began. They touched gloves. Franca landed the knee and Sherk went for the takedown. Franca grabbed a tight, tight guillotine and Sherk slammed him down into full guard. Sherk moved to half-guard after a moment's struggle and popped his neck out of the choke. The crowd was roaring. Sherk began landing some ground-and-pound. Sherk passed to full mount. Sherk began landing some elbows. Franca looked very relaxed on the bottom though. Sherk began looking for an arm triangle. Sherk rolled around to side control. Franca sat up and brought it to full guard. Sherk kept coming relentlessly. Franca turtled up while Sherk looked to transition to take his back. The referee told the fighters to 'pick up the pace'. Sherk moved to half-guard. Sherk moved to mount again. Sherk rolled and took Franca's back. Franca stood and went for a kneebar from the top but Sherk got back on top. Sherk began landing some ground-and-pound. The first round ended.
The second round began. Franca landed a leg kick. Franca landed a big knee as Sherk shot in for a takedown and dropped Sherk and pounced. Sherk got the takedown again into full guard, looking dazed. Franca grabbed the guillotine but Sherk held his head high and got out of the guillotine. Sherk postured up and landed some ground-and-pound, moving to half-guard aggressively. Sherk struggled to pull out of half-guard and got the mount. Franca rolled Sherk over however and got on top into Sherk's full guard. Franca postured but Sherk shoved Franca away and then passed and got Franca in the north-south position with Franca turtled up. The referee told the fighters to work. Sherk got Franca's back. Franca rolled it quickly to half-guard. Sherk threw a big elbow from the top. Sherk passed to side control and landed some more ground-and-pound. Franca rolled over onto the top and then locked in another tight guillotine from half-guard. Twenty seconds remained. Sherk popped out and passed to side control as the second round ended.
The third round began. Franca tried for a big uppercut, Sherk came in and got the slam takedown and quickly moved to half guard. Sherk moved to side control. Boos began. Sherk landed a big elbow from the top. Sherk took Franca's back and then got the north-south choke. Franca rolled out however and Sherk moved to full-guard. Sherk passed to half-guard while softening Franca up with some short elbows and strikes. Sherk passed once more to side control and landed some more short ground-and-pound. Sherk got Franca's back and landed numerous body shots and then some shots to the side of Franca's head, followed by some knees to the kidneys and midsection of Franca. Franca looked exhausted. Sherk looked still refreshed. The crowd began booing heavily at this point. The referee told the fighters to work and not to just sit there. Franca struggled out but Sherk immediately took him down once more and into half-guard. Sherk passed effortlessly to side control, pinning Franca's left arm down with his knee. Sherk went for the kimura but Franca fought out of it. Sherk began throwing more shots from side control. The third round ended. Franca looked dazed and exhausted.
The fourth round began. Sherk landed a good jab. Franca stepped in and landed another big knee. Sherk went for the takedown into full guard. Sherk received his last 'back-of-the-head' warning from the ref. They got into the standing clinch against the cage. Franca tried for another guillotine and Sherk moved to half-guard and then quickly to side control. Sherk got Franca's back again. Franca got to his feet and backed off. Franca defended a takedown. They got into another standing clinch against the cage. Sherk slammed Franca hard and moved to side control. Sherk threw more short elbows from the top. Sherk got Franca's back once more and landed more kidney knees. Franca's corner screamed for him to stand up. Franca got to his feet and landed a leg kick. Franca landed another big knee and Sherk went for another takedown. Sherk got the leg and then went down into half guard. Sherk got Franca's back once more. Boos began again. Franca stood, but Sherk got a leg and quickly transitioned to side control. Sherk got Franca's back again. Franca seemed frustrated. The fourth round ended.
The fifth round began. Sherk landed a wicked leg kick. Franca tried for another knee and Sherk grabbed the leg and took Franca down and passed to half-guard. Franca moved to full guard however. Sherk landed a big elbow and then two more. Sherk postured up and Franca went for an armbar. Franca stood up. Sherk clinched him against the cage, grabbing the leg. Franca grabbed the guillotine again, but Sherk's head popped out once more. Franca was bloodied up now from his nose. Sherk moved to mount. Heavy boos began. Sherk took Franca's back. Franca managed to stand but Sherk took him down again. Sherk passed to side control once more. Franca stood again against the cage. Sherk got the slam takedown, took Franca's back. Franca stood once more and Sherk got yet another takedown. Franca stood but got taken down again into full guard. Twenty-five seconds remained. Franca struggled to his feet once more. Sherk got Franca's back again and dragged him down. The fifth round ended. The two fighters hugged on their knees. Sherk retained his lightweight championship by unanimous decision.