But that is exactly what Hermes Franca (18-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC), a Brazilian native, did. From last March through this January Franca fought an impressive 8 times over the 10 month span winning all 8 fights. In his UFC fights over the span Franca first fought at UFC 61 topping Joe Jordan by submission then followed the win up with another submission win at UFC 62 over Jamie Varner. He most recently stepped into the octagon in January at UFC Fight Night 8 where he beat Spencer Fisher via TKO.
Franca was recently featured in the Palm Beach Post. Here are a bunch of separate excepts from the article:
“Franca, 32, a native of Fortaleza, Brazil, who moved to the United States in 2000 began training for UFC competition in 2002. But for nearly a decade beforehand, he focused exclusively on Brazilian jujitsu. Franca spent the next six years training in Brazilian jujitsu, and eventually achieved the rank of brown belt. After moving to the United States in April 2000, his work commitments left him little time to pursue serious martial arts training.Six months later, however, he jumped right back in.”
After being noticed as a mixed martial artist Franca eventually got the call to the big leagues and the UFC. After posting a mediocre 2-2 record he went back to lesser known promotions before returning to the UFC early last year to near immediate contender status going 3-0 in the UFC and 8-0 overall.
Franca was granted a title shot against UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk (31-2-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) later this summer after Sherk recovers from a rotator cuff injury.