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Old 05-06-2008, 08:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hermes Franca Eyeing Return To Mma

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With former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk preparing for his return to active mixed martial arts competition having fulfilled his suspension after a positive drug test stemming from his successful title defense over Hermes Franca last July, it harkens wonder to what the other half of that title match is doing.

Franca, who is still currently on suspension until early July, had built up tremendous momentum heading into the fight with Sherk, having won eight fights in a row prior to the title showdown.

It appeared he could have more than a chance to fulfill his goal of Ultimate Fighting Championship champion, but was denied, losing a five-round unanimous decision to Sherk.

Shortly after the fight it was revealed that both Franca and Sherk had tested positive for steroids. Unlike Sherk, however, Franca did not deny his usage of performance enhancing drugs, thus inciting a year-long suspension.

Since then Franca has left the team he was with prior to that fight, The Armory, and has kept busy with other things in anticipation of a return to action within the coming months.

Ive been teaching seminars, said the Brazilian born fighter. Im the head coach at Premier Martial Arts, which is all over the United States, like 50 or 60 academies, and some in Canada.

Im doing the jiu-jitsu program over there. So Ive been really busy doing a seminar almost every week for two or three months.

Specifically Franca is still based in Florida, where he is expanding upon his own jiu-jitsu system.

Im at the academy in West Palms with two affiliations: one in Boca Raton and one in Jupiter, he commented. Outside of Florida, I have North and South Carolina that Im teaching or I have some guys, instructors teaching other Hermes Franca (systems).

As Franca explains, his split from The Armory was due to his wish to have the freedom to market his style of jiu-jitsu on his own terms.

I had always worked for somebody, but now I want to build my name, he stated.

I have a big name, a strong name, and so thats what I want to do, work on my Brazilian jiu-jitsu program, work on my creations and keep fighting. I want to work for myself.

With his suspension ending on July 5, Franca is chomping at the bit to return to action, and hopes to do so as soon as he becomes eligible.

Im hungry. Even though Im busy right now, I want to fight soon, he exclaimed. I hope to fight in July, but if not, Im going to keep busy and wait for my next fight.

I have a big name, Ive fought very much and a lot of guys know me, and a lot of shows are looking for fighters. EliteXC, Affliction, the UWC, some big shows, and a lot of guys are showing interest in me. Im just waiting for my moment right now.

Having a year off to focus on himself, Franca feels theres far more than a whispers chance that hell be much improved when he does return to fighting.

I think the fans are going to see much, much better (performances) from me, he stated.

(Other fighters train) a few weeks before fights, and I never did. I am always teaching and training fighters. Im going to let my instructors teach at my affiliations academies, and Im going to camp for myself for six weeks or seven weeks just training. Thats what Im going to do, Im going to do things like a professional, and so Im going to come back stronger than ever.

When the subject of Sean Sherks impending UFC title match-up with current 155-pound king B.J. Penn was brought up, Franca was more than willing to give his unbiased thoughts on the fight.

Sean Sherk is so smart; hes very professional and will come back strong, he said. Hes training with Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts to plug B.J.s game, and will come with a good game plan; but B.J. has good skills. Hes talented.

I was training with (B.J.) and the kid has a lot of talent, a lot of heart, and I can say the kid is born to fight. I think B.J. is going to win, thats my opinion, but I hope it is going to be a great fight.

As for where Franca feels he will fit into the lightweight division when he returns, I think Im still like A-level class.

The only people that are happy to not see Hermes Franca fighting is people in my weight division. Im still a contender in any organization Im in, and Im going to be a champion. I know myself. I know how good I am. If I train hard I can be the best of the best.

Keeping himself busy with business ventures, Franca looks to a near future that will have him returning to his true passion in fighting, regaining lost momentum and placing himself back amongst the pantheon of the sports premier performers.

I would really like to say to my fans, closed out Franca, I gained more fans after my fight with Sean Sherk, and everybody is really, really excited to see me fight again.

I know who my real fans are now. I want to say thank you to the sport, my family, Premier Martial Arts and my affiliations academies and Team Hermes Franca.
http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/...6214&zoneid=13
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good find +rep

I actually like Franca. I had hoped he would return to the UFC. I think he is a good fighter that always gave good performances. No matter what anybody thinks, steroids are, and always will be, present in MMA. He got caught and owned up to it. He is also serving his year long suspension and not complaining about it. I can't wait to see him return . . . wherever it is.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup- I agree.

I'd love to see Franca get a chance to come back.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ya I actually like Hermes too, I just think he's skilled and very exciting so I can't complain. I wonder if he stays in the UFC who he would fight next. I mean he's beat guys like Nate Diaz and Spencer Fisher already so do you put him ahead of them for title consideration or do you make him prove himself over again since he's been off a year? I would like to see Hermes v Pelligrino.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hermes franca making a comeback.

Good for him. I can't wait to see Hermes in action again.
Hopefully he goes to a good venue.

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Old 05-06-2008, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good to hear it. Hermes has always put on a good show. He'll stand and throw haymakers at anyone, and his bjj is phenomonal. I'd actually like to see him back in the UFC, but if it doesn't happen... oh well.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd love to see Hermes in DREAM. Aoki vs Franca would be an awesome, awesome fight.

Nice to see he's coming back. I enjoy watching him fight.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Damone View Post
I'd love to see Hermes in DREAM. Aoki vs Franca would be an awesome, awesome fight.
Dang that's a good idea. I bet Aoki would try to pull his flying guard after feeling one of Franca's punches.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Franca vs Edwards is still one of my favourite fights ever.

Franca is a wizard, and I'd love to see him fight the very best at 145 lbs!! At 155 lbs he can beat every B level fighter, but when it comes down to it, the A level guys at 155 are just to good to deal with such a size disadvantage.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Which Franca vs Edwards? There were 2 of them.
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