Franca’s Return to the UFC Caps Solid 2006

By Gleidson Venga Jul 5, 2006
Hermes Franca (Pictures) is back in the Octagon. Following four victories in a row in 2006 Franca returns to UFC on July 8 to face Joe Jordan (Pictures), who replaced Roger Huerta (Pictures) late last week. The Brazilian fighter spoke to about what he expects about this fight and from himself on Saturday. You were scheduled to face Roger Huerta (Pictures), but he was hurt, so you will face his teammate, Joe Jordan (Pictures). What did you think about this change?

Hermes Franca (Pictures): I just found out. The main problem is that things aren’t working out. If he doesn’t finish his medical tests in time, I won’t fight. But everything is OK, I’m doing what I got to do. And if I won’t fight, it won’t be my fault. This sudden change, will it affect your training?

Franca: Actually no, because I’m on the cutting wheight phase, and Huerta´s game is pretty similar to his, considering the fact that they are teammates. What do you know about Jordan?

Franca: I never saw his fights, but I know he fought about 30 times before. How about your training? And about your expectations?

Franca: We are confident. This has been a productive year. About training, we are in the final phase. I just have to cut weight. My teammate Kurt Pellegrino (Pictures) will also fight in this event, so I’m helping him, and he is helping me. What do you usually do the week before the fight? How do you prepare your mind for the fight?

Franca: I try to avoid everything else, and I stay in my room, totally peaceful. If you get a couple victories in UFC, when do you expect you’d fight for the title?

Franca: It’s hard to say. The UFC doesn’t have a current champion in the lightweight division, I’d heard Jens Pulver (Pictures) is back and Sean Sherk (Pictures) will cut weight. Hermes Franca (Pictures) is back, so we have to wait and see Do you think you’re more prepared now than the first time you fought in UFC?

Franca: Absolutely! I am more mature and now I know what I want in my life. How is the training of your teammate, Kurt Pellegrino (Pictures)?

Franca: He is flying high. He’s a very focused athlete; he surprises me everyday. You can expect an amazing fight, for sure. You had to cancel two fights before that. Where you hurt?

Franca: Yes I was. I was sure about fighting in the AFC in Florida, where I’m the current champion. But the UFC called me, asking me not to fight because I could get hurt. So, it was a misunderstanding. I begged my pardon to the AFC promoters and my opponent, who was already in Florida. It was a boring situation, but they understood. I would also fight in the Ring of Combat, in New Jersey, another great event, on July 7th, one day before UFC. My teammate Adriano Nasal replaced me. What happened, in fact, I can’t wait. I don’t have a contract with any organization, so I’m free to fight everywhere. The UFC surprised me because before that we had confirmed only Pellegrino. They called me two weeks ago. Yves Edwards (Pictures) is also back in the UFC and you had a fight with him before, which he won in a controversial split decision. Do you want to face him again?

Franca: We are great friends nowadays, but we are pro fighters too. I’m not thinking about this fight now, but if I have to face him in a title shot, I will. You had a bad year in 2005, losing three fights in a row, and leaving your former team, American Top Team. In 2006 you already have four victories. How did you overcome?

Franca: It wasn’t easy. I’ve needed a lot of determination and will. It’s very hard for an athlete to lose three fights and have no team. But this makes me stronger, knowing I have my own gym, my team, four victories in a row and two title belts. Do you think you’re in your better shape?

Franca: I don’t know if I’m in my best shape, but I’m pretty happy. I thank God every single day. Leave a message to all fans.

Franca: I want to thank everybody who trusts me. This people are always in my mind when I win. God bless all MMA fans.
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