Less than five years ago lightweight Hermes Franca was on top of the world, having strung together eight wins including six in the UFC/WEC. His series of impressive performances netted him a title-shot in the UFC against then-champ Sean Sherk though he ultimately lost by way of a fairly one-sided decision.
The downward spiral Franca has been on since that bout in 2007 is among the most severe seen in the sport, featuring a positive steroid test as well as a losing record, and was capped off this week when the 37-year old pled guilty to charges of sexual abuse and unlawful penetration stemming from a sexual relationship he developed with a teenage student at one of his academies. As a result Franca was sentenced to 42 months in prison and will be subject to probation for more than 48 months after being released. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
Details of the situation were provided in The Oregonian, a publication in Oregon where the case took place.
Franca’s original charges included seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of second-degree unlawful penetration. His plea bargain included admission of guilt to one of each.
Assuming this indeed marks the end of Franca’s MMA career, the once popular pugilist will retire with a 22-12 record and his best days far behind him. He was last seen competing this past April where he was knocked out in the second round by Thawa Ril, a Brazilian fighter with a losing record.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Good riddance to bad rubbish. I was a fan of Franca’s years ago but he obviously has some serious personal issues and I’m disgusted by the notion he would not only sleep with a minor but one who trusted him as a coach. Somehow I have a feeling his MMA skills will come in handy in prison based on the charges.