MFC Signs Franca to Multi-Fight Deal

By Brian Knapp Mar 11, 2011
Maximum Fighting Championship has inked former UFC lightweight title contender Hermes Franca to a three-fight contract, the Canada-based promotion announced on Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Franca (Pictured) will make his promotional debut against fellow UFC veteran Drew Fickett in the MFC 29 “Conquer” co-main event on April 8 at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

“I’m very intrigued to see what Hermes can do in the MFC and especially with him meeting Drew Fickett in his first fight,” MFC Owner and President Mark Pavelich said in a release. “Hermes is extremely talented, as his record shows, and I have made it very clear that I believe Fickett is one of the world’s best fighters at 155 pounds. This matchup is going to be very exciting, fast-paced and I’m sure a very wild crowd-pleaser.”

Franca -- who has not posted consecutive wins in more than four years -- last fought under the G-Force Fights banner on Feb. 26, when he submitted Jorge Sarat with a first-round armbar at the DeltaPlex Arena and Conference Center in Grand Rapids, Mich. The 35-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has secured 18 of his 20 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Wins over former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown, ex-WEC lightweight boss Jamie Varner, one-time International Fight League lightweight titleholder Ryan Schultz and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz anchor Franca’s lengthy resume. In 32 professional appearances, he has never been submitted.

Based in Arizona, Fickett finds himself in the middle of a career resurgence. The 30-year-old 2010 Shine Fights lightweight grand prix winner has rattled off five consecutive victories, the last four of them first-round finishes. He last competed at MFC 28 on Feb. 28, when he needed a little more than half a minute to put away Matt Veach with a first-round armbar. Fickett owns notable wins over two-time UFC lightweight title contender Kenny Florian, one-time UFC welterweight championship contender Josh Koscheck and Sengoku Raiden Championship veteran Keita Nakamura. He has delivered 30 of his 41 career victories by submission.
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