MFC Part Ways With Hermes Franca Due To Sexual Abuse Charges In Oregon

Seasoned MMA veteran Hermes Franca, who has fought in UFC, WEC, MFC, K-1 and Shooto events, has been jailed in the state of Oregon according to multiple reports.

An immediate search is underway to replace Franca who was slated to fight Drew Fickett on Friday, June 10 at MFC 30: Up Close & Personal. Fickett’s new opponent is expected to be announced shortly.

“Mr. Franca’s legal situation is a matter in the hands of law enforcement officials and soon to be going before the courts and because of that there will not be any further comment on those allegations, but I have taken immediate action to indicate that he is no longer going to be part of my organization,” stated MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich. “We were informed about his arrest and pending trial, and as of 10:30 a.m. MT today, he has been released. These are serious allegations that he is facing and I do not want the Maximum Fighting Championship associated in any way with these matters.”

On top of legal difficulties that were revealed today, Franca twice fought outside of the MFC while under contract with the organization.

“Mr. Franca breached his contract by fighting outside of the organization only 15 days after his bout at MFC 29, and then he fought again six days after that in Brazil and lost,” said Pavelich.

“I find his these actions to be incredibly disrespectful to my company and Mr. Franca is no longer welcome as part of the Maximum Fighting Championship.”

The alleged charges are two counts of sexual abuse to a female minor at the jiu-jitsu academy in the city of Clackamas, Oregon, where Franca was an instructor. Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) has issued a press release that Franca’s contract has been terminated with the promotion.

The fighter allegedly flew to Oregon on Monday from Florida, where he now resides, and turned himself in to Clackamas County Jail on seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and two counts of unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree.

At an arraignment hearing on Tuesday, Franca plead not guilty to seven counts of sex abuse in the first degree and two counts of unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree. His bail has been set at $250,000.

Each of the charges against Franca carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 75 months. Horner said Franca has been “cooperative” with the District Attorney’s office.

A release hearing for Franca is set for Friday, and his counsel is expected to ask for a reduction of his bail. He has retained a Portland-based lawyer, Ryan Corbridge, to represent him.

“We adamantly deny these allegations and want to point out that he’s innocent until proven guilty,” Corbridge said today.

A July 12 date has been set for Franca’s trial, though Horner expressed doubts that the date would hold.

“It’s unlikely that a case of this significance would go to trial this quickly,” he said.

About William Smith

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