Weekend Rundown: Franca Loses, Retires

By Brian Knapp Jan 11, 2010
Former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion and one-time UFC lightweight contender Hermes Franca succumbed to first-round strikes from Eric Wisely in the Max Fights DM “Ballroom Brawl IV” main event on Friday at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines, Iowa. The end came 3:48 into round one.

Afterward, Franca announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competition. The 35-year-old Brazilian, should his decision to leave the sport hold, ends his career with 19 victories, 17 of them finishes. Former WEC featherweight king Mike Thomas Brown, one-time International Fight League lightweight titleholder Ryan Schultz, recently deposed WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz were among his victims. Franca was scheduled to meet Per Eklund at a Maximum Fighting Championship show next month.

The little-known Wisely, whose lone career defeat came in a unanimous decision loss to WEC veteran Erik Koch in 2007, has rattled off four consecutive wins, all of them by technical knockout.

Meanwhile, Franca’s fellow UFC castaway, Josh Neer, had no such troubles. “The Dentist” dispatched Matt Delanoit on strikes 2:53 into the first round at the Max Fights DM event. The 26-year-old was cut by the UFC following back-to-back defeats to Kurt Pellegrino and Gleison Tibau.

Wiuff Retains IFC Gold

UFC veteran Travis Wiuff retained the International Fighting Championship heavyweight title with a first-round technical knockout against Justin Newcomb on Friday at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wis. Wiuff, seasoned by more than 70 professional bouts, needed a cool 61 seconds to dismiss Newcomb.

Wiuff caught a Newcomb kick, transitioned to a takedown and finished his foe with ground strikes. The 30-year-old Minnesotan has posted four straight wins since his TKO loss to Stanislav Nedkov at Sengoku “Eighth Battle” in May. Newcomb was a late replacement for Tony Sylvester.

Former Green Bay Packers running back Herbert “Whisper” Goodman was also victorious at the IFC show, as he submitted Chris Kruegar with an arm-triangle choke in just 58 seconds. Goodman, a 32-year-old M-1 Challenge veteran, has delivered three wins in his past four fights.

Thomas Stays Perfect at 145

American Top Team’s Din Thomas stopped the game but overmatched Dustin Pague on second-round strikes under the World Extreme Fighting banner on Friday at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

The 33-year-old Thomas, who holds wins against former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver and one-time UFC welterweight titleholder Matt Serra, remains unbeaten in three fights as a featherweight. Rumors persist that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will face former boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga at a Shine Fights show in March.
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