When Ed Herman steps inside the cage at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York, on May 18, it will be his twenty-third trip to the Octagon, making him one of the most seasoned veterans in the UFC.
Jumping between middleweight and light heavyweight throughout his tenure with the company, Herman has won five post-fight Performance bonuses in the UFC, and he competed in the Ultimate Fighter Season 3 tournament final, though ultimately he came up short in that endeavor.
As time marches on, “Short Fuse” is well aware that he’s in the twilight of his fighting career. He already has a plan on what he’d like to do next.
“I’m trying to get in [the] Portland Fire Department out here; I’ve made it through the first couple parts of the hiring process, so I think I’m in the interview process next. So after this fight, I might start, you know, with the interview process and kinda see how things go.” Herman told The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko.
“I passed the physical [exam] no problem, the book testing is probably the harder part. It’s been a while since I’ve done a lot of book work and had to study, so that’s probably the harder part for me,” said Herman.
While being a firefighter is a little tougher than sitting behind a desk, it’s certainly not a job that’s unprecedented for a mixed martial artist. Former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic also fights fires while he’s not fighting other heavyweight contenders.
For Ed Herman, the appeal of being part of a close team is a big factor.
“Being an athlete and a teammate my entire life, it’s kind of a good, easy transition, I think. Being part of a team, you know, with guys being able to trust you with their lives, it’s kinda what we been doing for years.”
A post-fight career is an important thing to consider for Herman, as he’s dropped three in a row and has a stiff test on Saturday against Patrick Cummins, who has lost his last two bouts as well. Herman even speculated that if he didn’t win his next contest, he might get cut from the UFC.
“We’re both a couple of old dogs still in the fight game,” said Herman. “I think it’s a great matchup, me and Pat. We’re both coming off some losses, I don’t know, maybe it’s a ‘loser gets cut’ kinda fight thing.”
Although Herman is aware that this could be his last time in the Octagon, it doesn’t affect his mentality going into the fight, or his desire to earn another $50,000 with a post-fight Performance of the Night bonus.
“It is what it is. If they cut me or something, fine. If I lose, whatever. It’s kind of like I’m a professional gambler: I know what I’m getting into.” Herman stated. “You’re kinda rolling the dice out there… if you win, you can win big, financially, with bonuses and stuff like that. If you lose, you know, you kinda gotta go off of that mindset.”
Ultimately, win or lose, the 38-year-old intend to keep on competing in some form or fashion, knowing that if he quit now he most likely wouldn’t stay retired for long.
“I’m trying to prepare myself for the future if I needed to stop fighting…but I don’t want to quit fighting yet. I enjoy it, I know as [that] soon as I hang them up I’m gonna crave it again, I’ve seen it happen with other guys.”
You can watch the full interview between Ed Herman and John Hyon Ko below.