As his Sunday bout with Tim Boetsch approaches, Ed Herman is back in the Pacific Northwest and back in the light heavyweight division. About the only thing missing is a throwback fight in the Sport Fight promotion.
He laughs, knowing that while some things changed, others remained the same.
“It used to be really big time with all the shows, but there are only a few little shows out here now, so it changed a lot in that sense, but there’s still a lot of great guys who train out here.”
Yet for Herman, it wasn’t just a professional move from Colorado to Oregon, but a personal one for him and his family.
“We were out in Colorado, and we just got a little homesick out there,” he said. “I had a gym there and me and my business partner had different ideas about the business moving forward, and it was a blessing in disguise, so I sold the gym to him, sold my house and decided to move home. I’m excited to be back out here, I’m training with a lot of people I’ve been close with for a lot of years.”
As for his return to the light heavyweight division he hasn’t seen since he went to Las Vegas for the third season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005, “it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s been harder and harder to make 185 as I’ve gotten older, and health wise I think it was a good decision. And with the IV ban thing that came up, it was the right choice for me.”
All the changes have kept Herman out of the Octagon since last January, when he got stopped by strikes for the first time in his career by Derek Brunson. But at 35, “Short Fuse” believes he has a new lease on his career in a division where he once beat current top five contender in 2005.
“I bet a lot of people don’t realize that,” Herman said of the win over Teixeira in Sport Fight. After three more wins, he was in TUF, where he made it to the final before losing to Kendall Grove. A 9-7, 1 NC career in the UFC has followed, but now it’s time for a change. And truth be told, the timing was perfect for both Herman and Boetsch.
“We both got to probably enjoy our holiday dinners this year,” he laughs. “There have been a lot of years when I’ve not been able to do that, so that was really great.”
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Put all the changes together, and you could say that Ed Herman is going back to his roots.
“Yeah, I think so,” he agrees. “I’ve been working on my bread and butter stuff that’s got me to where I’m at, so I’m definitely getting back to my roots and I’m a lot happier being back home. I feel like everything is going great for me.”
In Boetsch, Herman finds a kindred spirit, another gritty veteran who isn’t just looking for a return to the win column, but a fight.
“We’re a couple of old school guys, we’re not gonna run our mouth a bunch before the fight, we both have respect for each other, and we’re gonna get in there and do our job the best we can and take the other one out,” he said. “And at the same time, you know we both bring it and fight as hard as we can the whole time. We’re not ever gonna quit, and if one of us gets finished, that happens. It’s the way we both fight – we’re risk takers and I think the UFC has appreciated that and kept us both around through our ups and downs. It will be a battle.”
That’s all Ed Herman has ever wanted in the Octagon, and he’s likely to get one this weekend. But in addition to that battle, there’s even more motivating him to keep fighting these days.
“I feel I still have something to give back, and as long as I can stay competitive at this level, I’m gonna keep trying to do it,” Herman said. “And honestly, I’m finally starting to make some real money doing it too, so I’m trying to cash in and make as much money as I can while I still can. There were a lot of years making pennies in this world. A lot of the young kids are benefitting from the old school guys like us, who were fighting for free or a couple hundred dollars here and there. I love it, I’m still a competitor, but I’m trying to get paid too, so that’s definitely part of it.”