Hermes Franca was arrested in Oregon this week on multiple charges of Sexual Abuse and Unlawful Sexual Penetration. He is currently in Clackamas County Jail with bail set at $250,000, facing a trial date of July 12.
Franca had been scheduled to fight Drew Fickett for the vacant MFC lightweight championship at MFC 30 on June 10 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The promotion on Thursday, however, made the decision to release Franca from his contract, citing both the allegations against him and a breach of his agreement by fighting outside of the organization.
“Mr. Franca’s legal situation is a matter in the hands of law enforcement officials and soon to be going before the courts and because of that there will not be any further comment on those allegations, but I have taken immediate action to indicate that he is no longer going to be part of my organization,” said MFC owner/president Mark Pavelich in a prepared statement.
“We were informed about his arrest and pending trial, and as of 10:30 a.m. MT (Thursday), he has been released. These are serious allegations that he is facing and I do not want the Maximum Fighting Championship associated in any way with these matters.”
Franca last fought for the promotion at MFC 29, winning by TKO stoppage of Robert Washington. He then went on to fight two times outside of the organization, submitting Josh Thorpe, but then losing by knockout to Thawa Ril on April 29 in Brazil.
“Mr. Franca breached his contract by fighting outside of the organization only 15 days after his bout at MFC 29, and then he fought again six days after that in Brazil and lost,” said Pavelich.
“I find these actions to be incredibly disrespectful to my company and Mr. Franca is no longer welcome as part of the Maximum Fighting Championship.”
MFC officials said an immediate search is underway to replace Franca in the fight with Drew Fickett at MFC 30: Up Close & Personal. They expect to announce a new opponent shortly.
Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.