Former lightweight title challenger Hermes
Franca(Pictures) confirmed to Sherdog.com Monday
that he will lock horns with American Top Team’s Gleison
Tibau(Pictures) at UFC 90 "Silva vs. Cote" on
Oct. 25 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
The fight comes at a critical time for Franca, as he has lost
consecutive bouts for the first time since 2005. The 33-year-old
Brazilian dropped a unanimous decision to Frankie Edgar at UFC
Fight Night 14 last month in his first match back after a year-long
suspension for admitted steroid use.
“It was just great to be back in the UFC,” Franca said. “It was a
crazy year. I fought against a tough opponent, and I thought I did
well. I have no excuses.”
A monstrous lightweight who once fought at 170 pounds, Tibau, like
Franca, will enter the bout on a two-fight losing streak, having
submitted to a Joe Stevenson(Pictures) guillotine choke at UFC 86 in
July. The 24-year-old Brazilian holds notable victories against
Camoes(Pictures), Jason Dent(Pictures) and Terry Etim(Pictures). Franca (18-7), a former member
of ATT's Coconut Creek squad, knows Tibau (15-6) well.
“Gleison’s a friend of mine,” Franca said. “I just saw him last
week. We shook hands, and I wished him luck.”
A heavy handed Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt known for throwing
wild haymakers inside the cage, Franca rode an eight-fight winning
streak to a lightweight title shot against former champion Sean Sherk(Pictures) at UFC 73 in July 2007.
Controlled by the superior wrestler, Franca dropped a unanimous
decision to the supremely conditioned Minnesotan. Both men were
later flagged for suspected steroid use by the California State
Back near the bottom of the pecking order in one of the UFC’s
deepest divisions, he wants another shot at championship gold.
“Of course, that’s what I wish for,” Franca said. “There are a lot
of fighters [in my division], and I got my chance. I have to go to
the back of the line.”