Hermes Franca Asks For UFC 103 Slot

The injury bug bit former UFC lightweight contender Hermes Franca in January, forcing his withdrawal from a main event with Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 17.

His knee began bothering him after his title fight with Sean Sherk, and it went further downhill in the Octagon against Frankie Edgar.

Then it basically exploded.

“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 recently had surgery and is two months into a seven month recovery. He can walk and teach seminars, but nothing too strenuous.

“Day by day it’s getting better, thank God,” he said.

In the mean time, Franca hopes to return in September, although nothing has been formally planned.

“I told Joe Silva to save me a spot on UFC 103,” said Franca. “It’s going to be enough time so I’m not rushing myself. I can start in July, so I have exactly four months to train. I want to try to keep it healthy.”

Lauzon is also on the mend for a torn ACL and is expected to be out of action the remainder of 2009.