UFC veteran and former WEC lightweight champion Hermes Franca is retiring from active competition after suffering a TKO loss to Eric Wisely on the Max Fights DM: "Ballroom Brawl IV" card in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, Jan. 8. according to MMAWeekly.com.
The Brazilian at one time was one of the industry's most feared lightweights. After winning eight straight fights including submission victories over Toby Imada, Jamie Varner and Nate Diaz, Franca finished Spencer Fisher at Fight Night 8 to earn a crack at Sean Sherk's 155-pound title at UFC 77 back in July 2007.
He would drop a unanimous decision to "The Muscle Shark" and subsequently test positive for steroids.
Unfortunately his career would go into a tailspin following his loss to Sherk. After returning from a 12-month suspension stemming from his positive drug test, he came up short against Frankie Edgar in his July 2008 comeback fight at UFC Fight Night 14.
The Brazilian managed to bounce back with a win against his former Brazilian jiu-jitsu teacher Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90: "Silva vs. Cote" in October but then shortly thereafter was arrested in Jupiter, Fla., on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
Franca was scratched from his 155-pound match up against Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 17 in Feb. 2009 due to an ACL tear in his right knee. He was paired up with Tyson Griffin at UFC 103 later in the year where he was stopped via TKO in the second round.
He was later released by the UFC.
Now with the loss to Wisely, Franca has decided to call it a career and return to training his students and fighters at his gym East West Combat Club in Syracuse.