'TUF 3' vet Ed Herman: Each fight could be my last at this point

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Ed Herman looks around and sees few familiar faces from his time.

“The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner Diego Sanchez is the only active guy on the roster from the early seasons of the reality show. Josh Burkman, a standout on Season 2, just recently retired after a last try in the octagon went south.

Herman (23-14 MMA, 10-11 UFC), a finalist on “TUF 3,” spent many of his formative years working with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland, the poster children for longevity in this sport. But at 38, reality is looking him straight in the face.

“You never know,” Herman told MMA Junkie on Wednesday ahead of his 21st octagon appearance. “Whether I choose to retire or get an injury that causes me to have to retire, each one could be my last at this point. I try not to think about it too much, but it’s definitely something that goes into mind.”

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Prior to his last appearance, a split-call loss to Gian Villante, Herman spoke openly about his financial struggles just to make it to the cage. After a long layoff due to ACL surgery, he took a construction job just to make ends meet.

This time around, Herman is a full-time fighter, so he’s certain he’ll be able to perform the way he should against Patrick Cummins (10-6 MMA, 6-6 UFC), a strong wrestler who likes to slug it out on the feet.

Although Herman still grapples with many of the same nerves that accompany a fighter to the cage, he tries to enjoy every moment. He’s one of a few that are still in the game.

“Going into my last fight, I was in good shape, and I wasn’t injured, but I had a lot going on,” Herman said. “This time, I’ve been able to prepare properly. I wasn’t trying to work, so I’m really excited where I’m at. It makes me feel less pressure than in the past, maybe to where I felt I wasn’t ready.

“Because that’s a scary feeling when you go into a fight feeling like you’re not in good enough shape, or you’re not as prepared as you could be. So going into this fight, I feel like I really am. I’m trying to enjoy the moment and not let those negative thoughts creep in.”

UFC on ESPN+ 10 takes place Saturday at Blue Cross Arena and streams entirely on ESPN+.

To hear more from Herman, check out the video above.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 10, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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