This is number twenty-four in Jack Brown’s series of interviews with MMA fighters and personalities, and for this particular interview, we’re pleased to feature UFC middleweight, Ed Herman. Herman is a true veteran of the sport, who has fought a number of the toughest guys over the past decade. Most fans know him as a finalist from the infamous third season of The Ultimate Fighter, but he has had a long career since the days of Shamrock vs. Ortiz. Please enjoy our conversation below.
Jack Brown: What was your first experience with martial arts/combat sports and how did it become more than just a hobby for you?
Ed Herman: I started wrestling at the age of five. I didn't get into MMA until I was twenty-one. I started training BJJ at Straight Blast Gym in Portland.
JB: Your first professional MMA fight was a win via armbar back in 2003. What memories stand out most from that submission victory?
EH: My first pro fight was over ten years ago? Wow! I remember we were in some little town in Washington and got snowed in after the fight. We went out for Mexican food, and ran into a huge Mexican family that was celebrating their son’s release from jail. We traded tequila shots and stories all night. Good times!
JB: Prior to your long career in the UFC, you were an impressive 13-3 with wins over notable fighters like Brian Ebersole, Glover Teixeira, and Dave Menne. What do you attribute your early success to?
EH: My early success was due to no fear and a nothing to lose attitude. All I did was train, with not too many responsibilities. Not to mention that we had the toughest team in the country at the time - Team Quest!
JB: You have had some legendary training partners at Team Quest. How did you first get involved with the team and who from the team were the most essential in helping you develop as a fighter?
EH: We had a great squad in Portland back then. So many guys came through there. I was training with champions from the beginning of my career. A friend of mine went and signed up when they opened up to the public. I followed. Randy, Robert Follis, and Leben were huge helps, just to name a few.
JB: You entered the UFC via the infamous third season of The Ultimate Fighter. It was clear at the time, and I have heard you reference in interviews since, that you did not feel particularly lucky to have been part of Team Shamrock. Nevertheless, what were some of the highlights of the TUF experience for you?
EH: Being on the show was a good experience. I learned a lot about myself and got a lot of exposure coming into the UFC. That was both good and bad. I was a young broke kid who was instantly handed some good money and a little fame. I went a little crazy for a few years. LOL! But those were great life lessons!
JB: You have an above .500 record while under contract for the UFC during the past 6 and 1/2 years. What UFC performances have been your most satisfying and are there any losses that you are particularly interested in avenging?
EH: Well, I'm 9-5, including my wins on the TUF show in the UFC. The Tim Credeur fight was great for me. I had been out nearly two years, and to come in and win like that was great for my confidence, man. I want to avenge all my losses. I’d love another shot at Belcher. He's been doing great.
JB: The middleweight division of the UFC continues to be very deep. Who are some of the fighters that you would like to be matched up with and who are the fighters that you respect the most in your division?
EH: Man, I'd like to fight Larkin, Belcher, Carmont, Bisping, the list goes on. I respect lots of guys, fear none! Ha! LOL! Actually, there are some scary SOB's out there!
JB: You have been a father for a few years now. How has that impacted your training and goals as a fighter?
EH: My twins are five now! It's going fast. This is a fun age. They’re at my gym with me all the time. My son does our kids’ program. It's great. He's a natural. My daughter wants nothing to do with it, for now! I have the pressure of being responsible for my family now. I have more to train and fight for than ever!
JB: What do you want to accomplish during the remainder of your fighting career and what are your plans for the future outside of fighting?
EH: Realistically, I want to continue competing at the highest level long-term. I still want to fight for the title, you know? I have my gym. I will always coach and be a part of MMA. I would like to get into commentating. I’ve also done a little acting and stunt work. That would be fun too! We’ll see!
JB: Last question, Ed, and thank you so much for taking the time to do this. What does it mean to you to be a fighter and how much do you enjoy it?
EH: It means a lot, especially since I’ve been around before it hit the mainstream. It has been great to grow with the sport, you know? It’s an amazing thing to be a part of, and I wouldn't change it. There are ups and downs, the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I guess it suits me well. I’ve always been an adrenaline seeker.
I want to thank my fans!
Thank you so much for reading and please follow @EdHermanufc and @jackjohnbrown on Twitter.
You should also check out more about Ed on ed-herman.com/ and Facebook.com.
And go to on Facebook for links to all of Jack’s past interviews and blogs.
Previous interviews on the UG:
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