EXCLUSIVE: Hermes Franca On Training w/ Penn, Suspension, More

CHRIS HOWIE REPORTING …

After testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in his title fight with champion Sean Sherk at UFC 73 in July, Hermes Franca admitted his guilt and took his punishment like a man. He didn't lie to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and told them how it was. He is ok with the suspension because he knew what he did was wrong – although he thinks what's fair for one person should be fair for everyone.

“I'm guilty, what can I say?” Franca laughed. “But if you can't prove you didn't do it than you should have to take a year off. At least I was a man about it and I can put my head on my pillow and sleep well at night,” Franca told MMANews.com. “It's already been seven months and I'll be back fighting soon.”

To keep busy while on suspension Franca has done a number of things, including teaching semiars for the Premier Martial Arts school, something he couldn't do while preparing for his own fights. He also has helped teach grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the school.

On top of teaching seminars he has been keeping busy helping out some of his peers including Marcelo Garcia and B.J. Penn – who will be fighting for the Lightweight championship against Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 “Rapid Fire” on January 19th from London, England.

“Working with B.J. has been great for everyone, I've been helping him out but I also have been learning so much from his camp as well.”

Two days after B.J. Penn called Hermes up and invited him out to his camp, Joe Stevenson called up Hermes and asked him to come down. “Right after B.J. called me, Joe called me up and asked if I would come down and help him out. I explained the situation and he understood so there are no hard feelings. I'm here to help and B.J. happened to call me first. I told Joe to call me early next time and wished him luck in his fight with B.J.”

Next up for Franca is a possible trip to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson's fight camp in January and there is also the possibility of training at Team Quest as Jason “MayheM” Miller invited Hermes out to Temecula anytime to train at the legendary gym.

As far as fighting goes, Hermes will be back after his suspension is up and with two fights left on his UFC contract he will be looking to get his name back in the running for the UFC Lightweight championship.

“I'll be back after my suspension is up and everyone better be ready because I'll be coming back better than ever,” Franca concluded.

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