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Hermes Franca is a free agent

The man himself has confirmed it on the Underground Forum after there had been some speculation that the UFC had dropped him from the roster:

After my fight i was suspended for a year,i could not fight in USA,so i got some calls to fight in canada ,england,japan etc…,so i ask Mr.Joe silva to finish my contract with UFC, i told him i need to fight to make money ,told him to please let me fight and finish my contract( i was out of focus)and his gently did it..So , i spoke with Mr.Armando Garcia, and he told me , if i do some fights out of USA i could not fight in USA anymore never,So i decide don’t fight and wait until july,So now i don’t have any contract, but of course i will try come back to the UFC( just if u guys wish hermes franca back again lol), or wait for another offer from another organization. That’s it.

My, oh my. Hermes was honest and up front about his steroid use and he has received a completely raw deal ever since then. A one year suspension which has led him to make decisions like the ones above really make you wonder why someone who admits his guilt and admits his mistake is punished so harshly. From number one contender to free agent.

Sure, in the end it was Hermes’ decision to ask Joe Silva to end his contract but he didn’t have to be put in this situation to begin with. The California State Athletic Commission is putting this message out to fighters who use steroids that making up some excuse about how the drugs got into your system will get you a more lenient sentence and that’s a horrible message to push. They may not be doing it intentionally but that’s the effect that it’s having.

All that being said, Hermes is a pretty high profile free agent as far as free agents go in MMA right now. He’s a former number one contender for the UFC lightweight title, former WEC lightweight champion, and has a number of quality wins under his belt. If he can’t get back in with the UFC then he would be a very solid addition to any other promotion’s 155 or 145 class.

15 COMMENTS
  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Franca vs. Gomi!

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  • Rln says:

    “A one year suspension which has led him to make decisions like the ones above really make you wonder why someone who admits his guilt and admits his mistake is punished so harshly.”

    One year for cheating is harsh?? Come on dude. He was trying to take a short cut and got caught. He’s fortunate it’s only 1 year, at least imho. Personally I think a 2 year suspension is a more adequate penalty. Sherk, Baroni, Franca and the rest of them should be sitting on their asses for a few years for using steroids.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    It’s not that I think one year is harsh. It’s what should happen when a guy tests positive. But the reason it seems so harsh now is that they didn’t do the same to Sherk and Baroni because they came up with some lame excuses as to why they tested positive and more or less lied about it. Baroni is eligible to fight now and so is Sherk. Hermes won’t be eligible to fight until July. That’s five more months without a paycheck from his full time job. And he was the one man enough to come right out and say that he did it.

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  • Sean says:

    Adam,

    You make it sound like, if you just say it was in my system accidentaly…it automatically gets a reduced sentence…I am going to take a guess that there were tests run and different scenarios which lead to the reduce sentences…The fighters, in this case Sherk & Baroni, spent money on council to put up a legit case in front of the Comission, and in the end it paid to be worth it…thats why there are lawyers, to find cracks in the system and exploit them…

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Sean,

    The outcome was the same in all three cases. All three have been found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs, yet two of them are eligible to fight while one sits on the sidelines.

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  • The Legend says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go to the WEC to have a rematch with Varner or fight Urijah Faber.

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  • garth says:

    Franca: Owns up to using, gets hosed.
    Bonnar: Owns up to using, gets relatively hosed, but welcomed back to the fold.
    Royce: Doesn’t own up, gives finger to MMA world in general
    Sherk: Never offers anything other than denials, even buttboy Dana White has to admit he used, gets immediate (immediate!) title shot upon finishing suspension.

    It’s a huge black mark on the credibility of the UFC. Adam is right on in his assertion that a lame excuse gives you a better shot at getting back in. Hermes is getting effed in bee-hole, frankly. Not only do the sporting orgs have to come to grips with juicing, but the whole god damn country has to admit to itself how it’s going to deal. Basically it’s a felony or a misdemeanor. Each says something about us in the US as a culture society whatever. But we just need to freaking admit which way we’re goin’. So far, we’re all just being a-holes.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    I have read that Vitor Belfort is currently in negotiations with the UFC to make a return which is surprising considering he got caught for doign steroids and went and fought in England. So if he does sign with the UFC itll be interesting to see the backlash it will cause.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Sam, have recently have you read that? I know Vitor was speaking to the media about going back to the UFC and even had a meeting with them, but to my knowledge the interest on the UFC’s part was not necessarily mutual.

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  • Evan says:

    Gotta love that thread…everyone sucking up to him was probably thrashing him when he failed his test.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Well it was this kind of iffy thing on GracieMag i believe. They were interviewing Vitor who was saying he was currently in talks with the UFC and they were progressing and other organisations were interested too. But he just wanted to get out of Cage Rage because they were treating him like shit.

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  • SteveXtreme says:

    I had the opportunity to fly from Vegas to Atlanta with Hermes Franca after UFC 81. I can tell you after meeting several other fighters over the weekend that he was the nicest of them all. I was sitting across from him and immediately realized who he was. I introduced myself and told him I was a big fan. After kissing ass for a little bit I left him alone. I didn’t want to bother him the whole flight. About 30 minutes into the flight he tapped me on the shoulder and asked me my thoughts about UFC 81, Brock Lesnar, The SuperBowl and several other things that I can’t even remember because I was and still am blown away that I had such a conversation with Hermes Franca. Anyway, I say all that to say that the treatment that he has received is not fair. Steroids or not. On a closing note he did tell me that he was planning to fight in July. I wasn’t even thinking that it could be for another organization.

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  • mike wolfe says:

    Let’s be clear about this. Franca used an illegal, performance enhancing substance, got caught and was disciplined by the State of California, not UFC. Is there any legit info suggesting that UFC wouldn’t have welcomed him back? I doubt it. Like Bonnar and Sherk, Franca is a solid fighter who exercised poor judgment. UFC didn’t throw him out. His economic pressures are unfortunate, but that’s the risk he took whether or not he realized it. I bet he’ll be back someday.

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  • Jeremy says:

    Regarding Sherk,

    The CSAC pretty much had to cut his sentence after screwing things up so bad. They lost key paperwork, then delayed the proceedings so as to buy time to find said paperwork.

    Had this be the WADA, Sherk’s suspension would have been overturned because of the missing chain of custody paperwork.

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  • [...] Adam Morgan: Hermes Franca is now a free agent [...]

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