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UFC 84: B.J. Penn Won't Stop Talking About Sean Sherk's Steroid Use

As B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk promote their lightweight title fight at UFC 84, it always gets a little awkward right around the time that Penn starts talking about Sherk's positive steroid test.

As he has at basically every public appearance he's made, Penn said in a conference call this week that he doesn't respect Sherk because Sherk tested positive for steroids last year.

"I really feel that I'm a purist," Penn said, saying of Sherk's steroid use, "You take something so pure and you want to go and pervert it."

For his part, Sherk continues to insist that he never used steroids, and that his positive test was a mistake on the part of the California State Athletic Commission.

"I've always been a class act," Sherk said. "If you actually do the research you'd know I didn't take anything and the California Commission, I think, knows I didn't do anything as well."

But what's most interesting about the Sherk-Penn trash talk is that far from avoiding any discussion of steroids for fear that it might tarnish the sport, UFC President Dana White seems to relish it.

"These two have a lot of animosity and don't like each other, which always makes the fight a little more exciting," White said.

And that's why White is such a great promoter: Even as he's worked so hard to clean up the image of mixed martial arts, he recognizes that Sherk's steroid test and Penn's reaction to it has the potential to help sell UFC 84 as a grudge match.

FanHouse will be in Las Vegas, on the scene at UFC 84.