When I did go [to the Underground] and leave some messages they think it was funny and they love that. So this guy Manny Reyes was writing some trash around 2004. He was saying he was the UFC champion and I thought this guy is crazy. He was challenging me for some reason and one of the promoters said, “OK Hermes you want to fight?” I say “I don’t want to fight this guy, he’s nobody.”
The promoter said that the fans want someone to kill him ... They were selling a lot of tickets so he wanted like $2-3,000. Because he was so expensive the promoter asked me if I would fight for one dollar. I said, “What the [expletive]?” The promoter said, “Come on, do it for me, you’re a good friend.” “OK, let’s fight for one dollar.”
And the arena was crazy. Everyone was waiting for it like I was fighting Gomi or BJ Penn (laughs). It was packed! And then when we’re in the ring I can hear the promoter shouting to me, “Kill him! Kill him!” I said, “Bro you cant do that, you’re the matchmaker!
Franca knocked out Reyes in 37 seconds, so maybe the purse wasn't too bad.
After that fight, Franca went on to win the lightweight belt from the WEC, and fight Sean Sherk for the UFC lightweight belt. He has wins over Caol Uno, Nate Diaz and Spencer Fisher, and always brought a bit of fun to his fights.
- Hermes Franca