Hermes Can't Catch a Break...

I'm sorry if this has already been posted, but I just read this on The Wrestling Observer:

"One of those stories you used to hear about in boxing reared its ugly head in MMA this past week. Mike Chiapetta of broke a story about former UFC star Hermes Franca fighting recently in a high school gym in Cartago, Costa Rica. Franca, whose career has spiraled downward over the last two years, had lost four straight. He missed weight by four pounds in a September 19, 2009, fight with Tyson Griffin, and when he got into the cage, it was like there was a out of shape Franca in the cage. He was there in body, but maybe not in mind. He was clearly not himself, and after losing, was cut. After his next loss, he retired. Then he came out of retirement, and lost two more times, including most recently in Israel against Moshe Kaitz, who came into the fight with a 1-2 record.

He was facing Ferrid Kheder of Costa Rica in the main event on the show, a local star who has won 13 of his last 14, and represented France in judo in the 2000 Olympics. They were fighting for the Xtreme Vale Tudo lightweight championship. Kheder’s sponsor, Lu Dwyer, was the financial sponsor of the show. The three round fight on 12/19 seemingly went to Franca, who clearly won the first and third round. The decision was read, that Franca won. But then Jean-Francois Billon, the promoter, went up to the announcer, who then said Kheder won. Billon claimed he didn’t change anything, but was told before the announcement by the judge who added up the scorecards that Kheder won a split decision so he knew the ring announcer made a mistake. He claimed it was the decision of the judges. Dave Jansen, one of Franca’s cornermen, said that he saw the scorecard in the hands of he announcer which listed Franca as the winner with his name circled. Chiapetta called all three judges. All three said they scored the fight for Franca, by scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. Dwyer and Billon said the judges weren’t telling the truth. Jansen went into the garbage can where the score sheets were thrown and saw that Franca was the winner, noting then it wasn’t a mistake or a mix-up, but someone trying to change the outcome.

A possible story is that since Dwyer and Billon had interest in Kheder, who has an offer to people on the next season of Bellator, perhaps they wanted to make sure a loss didn’t take him out of contention for the show. They both deny any involvement in the result. Dwyer then called the Sherdog fighter base and asked that the result be changed from a win by Kheder to a no contest and said he took the belt away from his guy. Billon said he wants to promote a five-round title rematch but also has no idea if the promotion will ever run another show. Dwyer said that if she’s involved, she wants no judges, and that if the fight goes the distance, it’s a draw. But she said she’s had a falling out with Billon and would not be involved in a show in Costa Rica. Franca said he was up for a rematch somewhere else, but would not fight again with that promotion. Franca said he wants the result changed to a win feeling that he legitimately ended his losing streak, but his record doesn’t reflect that right now."

Let's hope this promotion never holds another show.

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