Franca Recuperating From Corrective Surgery
By Loretta Hunt
UFC lightweight standout Hermes Franca is resembling a TV makeover contestant these days. Actually, the American Top Team fighter is taking time off to correct a broken nose he’s been sporting for over a year. "My nose was broken in four pieces," the fan favorite fighter commented from his home in Florida two days after surgery. "You believe that? Unbelievable." Franca explains he broke his nose sparring in preparation for his UFC 42 debut against Rich Crunkilton last April in Miami, but after his win, three consecutive opportunities to fight in the UFC were too good to put on hold.
Coming off two heated back-to-back losses at UFC 46 and 47, first to AKA’s Josh Thomson and then to Texan Yves Edwards in a close split decision, the fiery fighter’s first inclination was to get right back on the horse. "After my last fight, I told my coach Marcelo and Liborio I wanna fight May 1st in the AFC," explains the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, "but they said no way Hermes. Go fix your nose and forget about fight right now."
On the mend for the next forty-five days till he can get back to training, Franca says he will accompany his jiu-jitsu instructor and teammate Marcus Aurelio to Japan for an upcoming fight in the ZST event, but his thoughts have not drifted far from his own return to competition. "I wish to go back to the UFC, maybe as early as September. I gonna be back," the upbeat fighter predicted.
In the meantime, Franca will watch from the sidelines as his two former opponents Thomson and Edwards battle it out at UFC 49. The fighters, as well as UFC fans, await confirmation that the bout will be for the reinstated lightweight title. Who will Franca be rooting for? "I wish it be draw," Franca laughs, before adding, "I wanna fight of the winner. Doesn’t matter. I think I beat both these [fighters already]."
THE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE WILL BE UP FOR GRABS
AT UFC® 48: PAYBACK
Tim Sylvia To Meet Frank Mir
LAS VEGAS, NV — April 19, 2004 … Tim Sylvia makes his much anticipated return to the Octagon Saturday, June 19, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center as he tries to regain the belt that he relinquished after a successful title defense in UFC 44. Sylvia gave up his belt after testing positive for an anabolic agent following UFC 44 and was unable to fight in UFC 47 because new test results were not available at the time of weigh-in.
UFC President Dana White says it’s time for Sylvia to return, "Tim has served his suspension, been very remorseful and has handled the matter extremely well. I’m looking forward to seeing Tim back in the Octagon and I’m anticipating a tremendous fight."
Sylvia (18-0) from Davenport, Iowa will battle Frank Mir (7-1) from Las Vegas in an attempt to regain the title that what was once his. Mir is coming off an impressive win over Wes Sims in UFC 46, knocking Sims out in the second round. Mir knows this is going to be a tough battle, "I am training expecting this to be the hardest fight possible. Tim is going to be in the best shape possible and is not going to make a single mistake."
Also added to UFC 48: Payback; Dennis Hallman (51-8-2) from Olympia, WA, looks to avenge a previous defeat to Frank Trigg (9-2) fighting out of El Segundo CA. Veteran lightweight Matt Serra (12-3) from Long Island, N.Y., will meet Ivan Menjivar (13-2) from Montreal, Canada in his UFC debut. Las Vegan, Jason Miller (22-4) will also make his UFC debut against Welterweight Georges St. Pierre (6-0).
The main event at UFC 48: Payback will feature Heavyweight Ken Shamrock as he returns to the Octagon to fight. Shamrock, "The World’s Most Dangerous Man," (25-8-2) from San Diego, Calif., and Kimo (10-3-1) from Huntington Beach, Calif., will meet in a long-awaited re-match. Shamrock submitted Kimo with a knee bar at UFC 8: David Vs. Goliath and fans have anticipated a payback fight ever since. Kimo is coming off an impressive submission victory over hometown rival Tank Abbott at UFC 43: Meltdown last June in Las Vegas.
Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes (36-4) from Hillsboro, Ill., will meet Renato "Charuto"Verissimo (6-0-0) from Hilo, Hawaii; and in a feature fight, power striker Phil Baroni (6-3-0) fighting out of Las Vegas will battle Evan Tanner (30-4-0) from Portland, Ore., in a re-match of their controversial middleweight fight November 21 at UFC 45: Revolution.
Tickets for the all-star, fight card are $350, $250, $150, $75 and $35, are on sale now at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office in Las Vegas, at all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com and www.mandalaybay.com. Tickets also may be ordered by telephone at 1-877-632-7400 or 1-702-474-4000. Ticket purchases are limited to eight per person and are subject to transaction fees. UFC
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm