by Steven Marrocco and Ken Pishna- MMAWeekly.com
A lightweight contest between former contender Hermes Franca and Xtreme Couture standout Tyson Griffin is expected to take place at UFC 103 in September.
Multiple sources informed MMAWeekly.com that both parties have agreed to the fight and bout agreements should be signed shortly.
UFC 103 is set for Sept. 19 in Dallas, Texas, though the event and its venue have yet to be officially announced by the promotion.
Franca returns to action after suffering a bad knee injury in preparation for a fight with Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 17 in February. He recently told MMAWeekly.com he had tried to tough it out before discovering the severity of the problem.
“I was training and it was getting better,” he said. “I never hurt my knee before, so I didn’t know how bad it was. Before Joe Lauzon, it was really hurting. I found out it was my ligaments, my ACL, my meniscus, and cartilage. The MRI showed me everything.”
Franca also confirmed his request to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for a spot on the September card.
The Brazilian ground ace had gotten back on the winning track at UFC 90 last October, ending Marcus Aurelio’s UFC run with a unanimous decision victory. At UFC 73, he suffered a decision loss to then champion Sean Sherk and sat out a year following a suspension for steroid use. Upon his return, he faced top-shelf lightweight Frankie Edgar and lost another decision.
An eight-year veteran of the sport, Franca has 6 wins and 4 losses in the Octagon with an overall record of 19-7.
Griffin last appeared at UFC Fight Night 18, where he survived multiple near-submissions at the hands of Brazilian Rafael Dos Anjos. The win was his seventh straight decision victory, and sixth inside the Octagon. His sole UFC losses mirror Franca’s, with decision losses to Edgar and Sherk. He is 13-2 in his professional career.
Though not confirmed by the UFC, other expected bouts include a welterweight match-up between Frank Trigg and Josh Koscheck and a lightweight match-up between Efrain Escudero and Cole Miller.