09-01-2008, 03:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
| | Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential'
UFC Lightweight contender Hermes Franca took some time to talk with PDG after his trip to New York about his comeback, future opponents and his upcoming fight with Gleison Tibau at UFC 90 in Chicago. |
PDG: What's been going on since your fight against Frankie Edgar at UFN 14?
Franca: Training and doing seminars and working at my academy in Jupiter, Florida. Very busy with my students, my teachings in my training.
PDG: What were you doing up in Syracuse, New York?
Franca: I was teaching a seminar at Premier Martial Arts. It was a very exciting trip and we had more than 50 students at the seminar.
PDG: Cool. Let's get to your fight with Edgar; you took a hard loss. What did you think of the fight overall?
Franca: A fight is a fight, it's like a box of surprises. I took the fight on short notice but that in no means gives me any excuse for not winning. I think it was a good fight for me after not being in the cage for a year. He fought his game and kept trying to go for the takedowns and I defended it well and I had my chance to end the fight with an armbar. Overall I was very happy about my performance though and it showed the weaknesses is in my game that I need to work on including being more aggressive in my fights.
PDG: Did the long layoff affect you?
Franca: Not so much, I knew he was a very good wrestler and obviously I didn't work on that enough. Like I said, I need to improve on my weaknesses. I really need to work more on my wrestling going forward. My jui-jitsu is is good enough to get submissions and I have knock out power in my hands but my wrestling is definitely not my strong point.
PDG: It had to be nice for your comeback fight to be awarded Fight Of The Night honors.
Franca: It was great and I'm very happy. Frankie Edgar is somewhat unknown amongst mainstream fans but he showed his skills when he got out of that armbar. He has beaten Brazilian jui-jitsu black belts, not to mention Tyson Griffin. I hit him with a knee and several other strikes but he did not go out, it was a great fight to be a part of. I would have been more happy with a win in the fight but the bonus money is always good.
PDG: Your next opponent is Gleison Tibau at UFC 90 in Chicago; what are your thoughts on the matchup?
Franca: I'm going to train hard, come to the fight aggressive and beat my opponent. The most important part is to get the win and get back on track to a title shot.
PDG: What advantages do you see for yourself going into this fight?
Franca: I think I have all the advantages going into this fight. Tibau is a good fighter but I know what his game plan is going to be and if I work my wrestling I should have the advantage in this fight. I hope to beat him in the first round.
PDG: So when do you go into seclusion and start your training camp for this fight? |
Franca: I am working on my wrestling right now with Coach Prescott here in Jupiter, Florida. In about two weeks I will leave for camp where I will be out of the public eye and completely focused on training for my upcoming fight. I still have a couple of seminars on my schedule in the upcoming weeks, so probably the first week or so in September.
PDG: All right, let's talk just a little bit about the past; did it bother you at all that you served a full one-year suspension and Sean Sherk only had to sit out six months?
Franca: It doesn't bother me because it was my problem and my fault. I told the commission the truth and it doesn't matter to me what Sherk told them. It is just great to be back and the commission has a lot of great guys that came up to me at my last fight and told me they were glad to have me back. They told me I was the man and I had balls because I told the truth which apparently a lot of people don't.
PDG: At some point do you want to have a rematch with Sherk?
Franca: I want to stay focused and beat everyone in my weight division including him. I want to beat everyone.
PDG: There is been a lot of changes in the UFC lightweight division lately; who do you see as your toughest opponent in the division?
Franca: That's a funny question because I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and he asked me “Hermes who do you think is the best at 155lbs?”....It's like building a car that will beat all others, if I train like a champion then it doesn't matter who is the best right now because I can be the best. I think I have great potential and if I commit myself 100% to my training I will be able to prove to the fans that I am the best.
PDG: Have you been watching any of the other organizations events?
Franca: Yes, I am not just a UFC fighter but I am a fan of mixed martial arts. I have a lot of friends in the sport that I like to see fight. I am always watching EliteXC, Strikeforce and the events in Japan.
PDG: Did you get to watch any of the Affliction fights on tape since they were the same night as your fight?
Franca: I did get to see a couple of fights including two of my good friends, Vitor Belfort and Rogerio Nogueira. I also watched the Fedor and Tim Sylvia fight since it was so short. Fedor is insane.
PDG: Were you surprised at how quickly that fight ended?
Franca: Surprised, yes because Sylvia is a big guy and I thought that he would last more than 36 seconds. It was a big surprise.
PDG: So your buddy Belfort broke his hand and had to pull out of the second Affliction show?
Franca: Yes, he broke his hand and I think he made the right decision by postponing the fight because even if it gets healed in time he would not have been able to go through the proper training for the fight. He needs to make sure he takes care of his hand and comes back 100%.
PDG: You also mentioned the Japanese events, DREAM & Sengoku; what fighters are you watching over there?
Franca: My good friend ‘JZ’ Calvancanti and I also enjoy watching Caol Uno. Uno is old-school like me and I really like his style and the way he fights. Joachim Hansen is also a great fighter to watch and the guy from New Jersey, Eddie Alvarez. He was a big surprise in their lightweight tournament and he performed very well. The lightweight division in DREAM is very strong.
PDG: I would have to agree that the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix kicked ass.
Franca: Yes, Hansen was a reserve fighter and he came in and won the tournament, great fights and good for him.
PDG: So outside of fighting a doing anything fun these days?
Franca: I love living here in Florida even though right now it seems like we are having a hurricane. We are having very strong winds and lots and lots of rain. It is the ‘Sunshine State’ though and I love going to the beach. There are so many things to take your mind off of fighting and have fun here, I really enjoy it.
PDG: One more fight question before I let you go; what about a future match up with Kenny Florian?
Franca: Kenny is a very technical fighter, before his fight with Roger Huerta a lot of people were telling me that he was going to lose and I just did not see that happening. He frustrated Huerta that whole fight with takedowns and smart decision-making. It was a great fight and Kenny has won five straight fights since his loss to Sherk, so I would say that he is at the top of the food chain at 155lbs. I don't like to challenge people, I fight who they tell me to but I would definitely take that fight.
PDG: Thanks again for your time; is there anything else you wanted to add?
Franca: I would like to say thank you and thanks to all my fans and sponsors that have stood by me, Tapout and Premier Martial Arts. Special thanks to all my students who give me support every day and all of the mixed martial arts fans worldwide.
Source: Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential' 08/20/08
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