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UFC veteran Hermes Franca sentenced to over three years in prison for sexual abuse

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Hermes Franca, who was sentenced to over three years in prison for sexual abuse of an underage girl.
Hermes Franca, who was sentenced to over three years in prison for sexual abuse of an underage girl.

All the way back in May of last year, former UFC lightweight fighter Hermes Franca turned himself over to the Clackamas County Jail in Portland, Oregon, charged with seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree as well as two counts of unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree.

He made bail and his court date was set for later in the year. Now, the hammer has come down and Franca finds himself staring down the barrel of a long prison sentence. has it:

A former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title contender has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after being convicted this week of sexually abusing an underage female student at his Clackamas martial arts school.

Hermes Franca Barros, 37, pleaded guilty in Clackamas County Court on Wednesday to one count of unlawful penetration and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison.


Barros will also have four and a half years of post-prison supervision and must register as a sex offender.

Do the crime, do the time. Case closed.

This likely signals the end of a fairly long and relatively successful career in mixed martial arts (MMA) for Franca, who, at one time, challenged for the UFC lightweight title.

Franca (22-12) was one of the industry's most feared lightweights not many years ago.

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.

Franca competed four times in 2011, going 3-1 and losing by knockout to Thawa Ril in his last fight under the IFC banner back on April 29.

His next fight, if there is one, will likely take place in a recreational room in the big house.

Quite the fall from grace.