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Ex-UFC Title Contender Hermes Franca Retires Following TKO Loss

On the heels of a TKO loss Saturday on a local card in West Des Moines, Iowa, Hermes Franca, 35, has announced his retirement from MMA, citing his body's inability to compete at a high level.

"The fans gave me the passion and strength that kept me competing at the championship levels for all these years," Franca said in a statement, thanking his fans. "Without them, I couldn't have done it. I owe it all to the fans."

Franca debuted for the UFC at UFC 42 in April 2003 and beat Rich Crunkilton by unanimous decision. His last fight in the Octagon was last September in a loss to Tyson Griffin at UFC 103.

Franca is a former WEC champion and defended the belt twice. In 2006-2007, Franca compiled an eight-fight win streak and was awarded a UFC title shot against then-champion Sean Sherk.

Franca closes his MMA career with a 6-5 record in the UFC and 19-9 overall.

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