On a recent airing of the Tagg Radio Network’s Lights Out Show, Hermes Franca discussed that little steroid misunderstanding he had last summer at UFC 73, where both him and his opponent Sean Sherk were busted for ‘roids after their lightweight title fight; Franca has subsequently been banned from competing in California until July 5th. Unlike Sean Sherk, who absolutely did not take steroids, Franca was apologetic about the situation and chalked it up to a “mistake,” but he did try to pin some of the blame on the pressure-cooker of being a UFC fighter:
When I was hurt, I got lost. I wanted to fight for the belt and make my dreams come true. But [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva told me that I had to fight Sean Sherk at UFC 73 and there was no other way around it without him finding another opponent. A lot of guys in the division wouldn’t be able to fight, like Kenny Florian. I brought up Roger Huerta but Joe said that he wasn’t ready. So I took the steroids.
If you’re unfamiliar, Franca’s pre-fight injury situation is described here. To him, it was a choice between taking steroids and not being able to support his family; like many mixed martial artists, he lives fight-to-fight, financially speaking. And now with a one-year suspension preventing further income, Franca was recently forced to resign from the UFC so he could make money fighting overseas. To make things worse, the CSAC warned Franca that he would have to serve his one-year suspension if he ever planned on fighting in the U.S. again, so he’s basically like a wandering ghost at this point, fighting to survive and unable to return home. The irony is, if he went through the Sherk fight without chemical enhancement, even if he took an ugly loss, he would have probably picked up a win by disqualification — or at least a no-contest and another title shot — because Sherk also pissed dirty.
Anyway, there’s your daily insight into the ugly side of MMA. We’re going to go cry in our car for a while.