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Hermes Franca in talks for September return at UFC 103

Former lightweight number one contender Hermes Franca is planning to make his Octagon return in late September at UFC 103 according to Around the Octagon, though a date and venue have yet to be determined for this event.

Franca (19-7) was scratched from his 155-pound match up against Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 17 at USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla., back on February 7 due to an ACL tear in his right knee.

Here’s how it all went down:

To all my Fans, unfortunately I am not gonna be able to fight UFC 17 in Tampa Florida, I just tore my ACL on my right knee last Saturday….I think you guys deserve to hear that from me. I just want to take care of that, and Joe Lauzon you’re lucky mother fucker lololol (J/K). Thank you UFC, my fans, friends for the support, I was training hard and I was so excited, but there’s nothing I can do, (could be worse), so Hermes Franca will take a break for some recovery and come back stronger than ever like I always do!!!!

Franca has been on a roller coaster ride during the past 18 months. After returning last year from a 12-month steroids suspension, he came up short against Frank Edgar in his July 2008 comeback fight at UFC Fight Night 14.

The Brazilian then rebounded with a win against his former Brazilian jiu-jitsu teacher Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90: "Silva vs. Cote" in October. And shortly thereafter he was arrested in Jupiter, Fla., on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

That case is still pending; however, Franca has insisted that he was exhausted, which caused him to drive erratically. He is innocent until proven guilty.

Lauzon bested Jeremy Stephens (who replaced the injured Franca) back in February but did not lose his desire to face Franca -- especially after Hermes downgraded his brother Dan's performance at Affliction 'Day of Reckoning.'

From J-Lau:

He’s talking a lot of trash for someone who pulled out of the fight. He said he was looking forward to fighting me because he saw my brother fight and (Dan) sucks. My brother took three low blows in that fight, could have ended it by DQ but instead kept fighting and beat the kid anyway. Before I wanted to fight (Hermes) because I had a lot of respect for him. Now I want to fight him because he’s acting like a punk.

Lauzon is expected to return from his own ACL surgery in Spring 2010. If Franca is still in the mix and Lauzon gets a tune-up fight, expect to see them settle this feud once and for all.

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