Exclusive: Hermes Franca – UFC 73 Aftermath Interview
By Dave Carpinello
PunchDrunkGamer recently spoke with UFC veteran Hermes Franca about his suspension for steroids, his fight camps in Florida and what lies ahead in the future!
PDG: Since your loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 73, what have you been doing?
Hermes: I have been teaching and traveling a lot, doing training seminars. I have a lot of amateur fighters that are training hard to get ready for their upcoming fights. I have also been trying to rest my body because I had fought like eight fights in one year’s time before my fight with Sean.
PDG: When does your suspension end?
Hermes: July 5th.
PDG: Is there anything you would like to tell your fans about your suspension?
Hermes: I made a mistake… I was fighting too much and I was addicted to fighting. The effect that had on my body caused me to make that mistake. I definitely know who my real friends are now. I have received a lot of support and I want to thank those fans. Everyone make mistakes and when my suspension is up in going to fight again.
PDG: Are you going to be able to go back to the UFC?
Hermes: I don’t know, all of those details are being handled by my management. My job is to fight and train hard and their job is to set up the fights.
PDG: You won eight fights in a row before your loss to Sherk; you took your longest break which was only six months before that fight.
Hermes: It was good and it was bad to take that time off. I think I was too confident because I fought against Jamie Varner who is now the WEC champ, I fought against Ryan Schultz who is now the IFL champ. I fought against and beat a lot of tough guys but I don’t want to take anything away from Sean. Now I’m thinking about the long term of my career and I would like to have two to three fights per year. That way I can fight forever and having this time off has shown me that Hermes the businessman can make money without fighting.
PDG: You left the Armory, what fight camp are you with now?
Hermes: Yes, I left the armory in October of last year but I still help out at all of the academies that I have trained at. I have helped with the American Top Team here in Florida also, but now I want to work for myself and concentrate on building up my name. Team Hermes Franca is the name of my new team. Premier Martial Arts has several academies that I’m affiliated with like Palm Beach Boxing Club. I am also looking at being affiliated with two more academies before the end of the year.
PDG: What fighters have you been working with?
Hermes: Primarily, I have been training a lot of my amateur fighters. Also, I have been working with Rich Crunkilton down in Daytona Beach. A lot of guys that are both professional and amateur.
PDG: Are you training personally or just helping other fighters?
Hermes: I have been very busy so I have just been training for fun, since right now I don’t have any fights coming up. I still really like to do grappling and boxing training with my students. When my suspension is over and I get a fight signed, then I will take a couple of weeks off and go to a camp and train hard.
PDG: Your fight with Sean was a close decision; would you like a rematch?
Hermes: I don’t want to challenge anyone but of course I would fight him again. In my opinion, that fight should have been ruled a no contest. So like I said, I’m not challenging anyone but I would definitely welcome a rematch.
PDG: Okay, so not challenging anyone. but who out there would you like to fight because you think that it would be a great fight for the fans?
Hermes: When I come back, I want to fight the best and right now BJ Penn is the best. We are great friends and good partners but right now he is number one and he has the belt. So if I had a the chance to fight him, I would take the fight. No offense to BJ, like I said he is a really good friend but he has the belt.
PDG: What do you think about all of the TV deals that the other organizations besides the UFC are signing?
Hermes: That is really good and it creates opportunity for everybody. The UFC is still at the top but the other organizations are really good. I remember when I started fighting there was only one or two organizations. Now there are like 12 different ones.
PDG: It seems like a new one pops up almost every week
Hermes: [laughs] It sure does but like I said the UFC is still the pioneer of the sport and at the top of the list. But it is really good for the sport to have so much competition. The more shows the better for the fans and the fighters.
PDG: You fought in many different organizations, which one did you have the most fun fighting in?
Hermes: K-1 paid me very well and they were very nice and very cool. They took care of everything. Every organization that I have fought for have been very accommodating and friendly. Of course some of the smaller organizations didn’t have the money for five-star hotels and limousines but they still take care of you the best that they could.
PDG: Speaking of K-1, they have a big event tonight. K-1 World Max Final 16 from Hiroshima.
Hermes: They have really good fighters over there, in fact I think they have the best fighters in the world in K-1.
PDG: Buakaw Por. Pramuk is fighting Albert Kraus.
Hermes: Buakaw is the man. He is really good and I would love to go to Thailand and train with him. Albert is another great fighter, really good. Like I said everybody over there is really good. The best of the best kickboxers from all over the world are there.
PDG: Thanks for taking the time, is there anything else that you would like to add?
Hermes: Thanks a lot and I want to thank Premier Martial Arts and all of the fans of mine that have stood by me and continue to support me. I love all you. Thank you very much.
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