by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
UFC veteran and former WEC lightweight champion Hermes Franca on Friday night announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. His decision comes on the heels of a loss via TKO to Eric Wisely at MaxFightsDM: Ballroom Brawl IV in Des Moines, Iowa.

His manager, Reed Wallace of White Chocolate Management, informed MMAWeekly.com of his fighter’s decision late Friday night.

The loss was Franca’s fourth in his last five outings. Three of those losses were in the UFC to Sean Sherk, Frankie Edgar, and Tyson Griffin.

“The fans gave me the passion and strength that kept me competing at the championship levels for all these years. Without them, I couldn’t have done it.
I owe it all to the fans,” said Franca, while indicating that his body just can’t keep up with the demands of today’s elite level fighters.

From the beginning of his career, Franca continually fought the top fighters in the sport. His victories include a veritable who’s who of MMA: Caol Uno, Mike Brown, Nate Diaz, Spencer Fisher, Rich Crunkilton, Jamie Varner, and Marcus Aurelio, to name but a few.

Wallace told MMAWeekly.com that the 35-year-old native of Forteleza, Brazil, native intends to rest briefly then return to training his students and fighters at his gym, East West Combat Club in Syracuse, N.Y.

Franca is looking forward to spending time with his family and developing business opportunities as he moves on to the next stage of his life.