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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Feb. 28, 2024

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Ahead of next MMA fight, Vancouver’s Ed Herman branches into ownership, promotion

Longest-tenured current fighter in UFC still going strong

By , Columbian Sports Editor
4 Photos
Professional mixed martial arts fighter Ed Herman, left, instructs two students during a class at Fabiano Scherner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Hazel Dell. Herman and Don Stoner, center, are owners of the gym, which opened last June.
Professional mixed martial arts fighter Ed Herman, left, instructs two students during a class at Fabiano Scherner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Hazel Dell. Herman and Don Stoner, center, are owners of the gym, which opened last June. (Micah Rice/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Despite his nickname “Short Fuse,” Ed Herman has made longevity the hallmark of his mixed-martial-arts career.

The 42 year old from Vancouver is the longest-tenured fighter currently in the UFC, a 24-fight run that stretches back to 2006.

Herman’s final fight on his current UFC contract is set for April 15 in Kansas City, where he’ll face Zak Cummings in a light-heavyweight bout.

Herman doesn’t plan on that fight being his last.

“I would love to get in there, put on a show and get another contract,” Herman said. “I feel like I have a lot left in the tank and I can still compete with the best in the world.”

Whenever Herman’s fighting days end, he still plans on being intertwined in the sport that has defined his life.

Last June, he opened a Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym in Hazel Dell with longtime training partner and nine-time world champion Fabiano Scherner.

Herman is also stepping up his involvement in fight promotion. He’s a main force in organizing CageWarriors Northwest 2, an MMA event on Saturday at RV Inn Style Resorts Convention Center in Hazel Dell.

“I try to do as many things as I can,” Herman said in a matside interview at his jiu-jitsu gym. “I’m working harder than I ever have in my life. But I’m having a lot of success too, so I’m excited for the future.”

A rush unlike anything

Few people have experienced the thrill and pressure of fighting in front of 20,000 people.

“I think that’s why I keep doing it,” Herman said. “The adrenaline rush and the emotion is like nothing else. I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life. Maybe I’m an adrenaline junkie, but that’s about the highest thrill that there is.”

It’s a thrill Herman says he has missed since he last fought in August 2021. So when the chance came to compete on UFC Fight Night in Kansas City, he took it.

Herman (27-15 pro, 13-11 UFC) will face 38 year old Cummings (24-7, 9-4) on a card headlined by featherweights Max Holloway and Arnold Allen.

“I was thinking about early summer but an opportunity came up with a really good opponent,” Herman said. “I’m feeling good so I’m excited to get in there.”

When he set out to become a fighter, first on the Northwest amateur circuit before getting his big break on the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter in 2006, Herman didn’t set out to get fame for career longevity.

“It’s something you don’t think about but when people talk about it, it’s pretty cool to hear,” Herman said.

Herman hopes his showing on April 15 fight earns him another contract in the UFC or a different organization. But he’s realistic enough to know his fighting days won’t last forever.

“At this time in my career and age I’m taking it one fight at a time,” he said.

Teaching the next generation

Throughout his mixed-martial-arts career, Herman has always gotten a thrill from teaching. Whether that’s coaching high school wrestlers or some of the area’s best fighters at Portland’s American Top Team gym, Herman has always tried to share his experience and knowledge.

The pinnacle of that came nine months ago when he and three partners opened Fabiano Scherner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Northeast 78th Street street in Hazel Dell.

That was a full-circle moment for Herman — opening his own gym in the neighborhood where he grew up. He described the facility as family-focused instead of a fighting gym.

On a recent afternoon, gym co-owner Don Stoner taught a class where kids ages 4 to 13 learned the basics of jiu-jitsu along with lessons of safety and respect. Then, Herman took to the mat for an adult class whose participants ranged from stocky middle-aged bodies to slender students in their 20s.

Herman sees a huge value in teaching teenagers and children jiu-jitsu. The focus and discipline required by the martial art made a huge impact on his life.

“We have a lot of 15 and 16 year old kids in here,” Herman said. “That’s how old I was when I was going through some hard times in my life, right here in these same neighborhoods and walking these same streets, making bad choices. If we can help some guys not make some of the same mistakes me and my friends did, that would be great.”

Launching local talent

Saturday’s CageWarriors Northwest event will present MMA in a way it hasn’t been before in Clark County.

In contrast to the promotion’s first Clark County show last November at the Event Center at the Fairgrounds, Saturday’s nine-fight event will be in a cozy newly renovated venue.

Herman said almost 600 tickets have been sold, bringing the event close to capacity. A section for general admission seating has been added to meet demand.

“It’s going to be upscale with almost half of the show being VIP tables,” said Herman. “It’s a very nice venue, very intimate. And we’re going to have some of the best young fighters in the area on the card.”

The card headlined by Vancouver’s Brandon Cromarte, who won the main event at the fairgrounds to improve to 3-3 as a pro. He will face Brandon Altomore in a lightweight bout.

Herman coaches two fighters on a nine-fight card (Carl Sommer and Nick Martin) at American Top Team in Portland.

“We’re creating this show not only to keep our fighters busy but other local talent as well,” Herman said. “It’s not just about our team but all the local talent and gyms, whether they’re affiliated with us or not. I’m excited to do that and continue to expose how much talent is out there.”

The public can get a sneak peek at the fighters during weigh-ins at 5 p.m. Friday at Lucky’s Roadhouse, 7607 N.E. 26th Ave., Vancouver.

Get Involved

What: Fabiano Scherner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Where: 1503 N.E. 78th St. Suite 8, Vancouver

More information: 360-258-0387; jiujitsuvancouver.com

If You Go

What: CageWarriors Northwest 2

When: Saturday. 5 p.m. doors, 6 p.m. fights

Where: RV Inn Style Resorts Convention Center, 7607 N.E. 26th Ave. Vancouver.

Tickets: https://tickets.northwestfightpromotions.com/tickets ($50 general admission, $65 reserved, $105 front row)