UFC middleweight Ed “Short Fuse” Herman’s fight with Jake Shields this past August was possibly the most disappointing moment in his recent career.
Initially it had seemed that Herman had lost a unanimous decision, only to have the fight overturned to a no contest after Shields tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
“I was making a little run there and to go in there and lose, I feel like I had a bad performance and wasn’t able to showcase my skills,” said Herman. “For him to test positive, it takes a loss off my record, so that’s good I guess, but it doesn’t change how much I got beat and that stuff still hurts.”
The fight with Shields came after Herman had won three fights in a row and gotten his career back on track following a patch where he had lost three out of four.
Looking to recapture his momentum, Herman signed up to take a fight that almost no one else was willing to when he agreed to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at the final Strikeforce event, taking place Saturday night in Oklahoma City, Okla.
“I heard like eight or nine guys turned this fight down,” said Herman. “I thought it was a good opportunity. I need to fight. Fighting is what I do. I hadn’t fought since August, so I needed a fight.”
Herman knows he’s in for a tough night against the former Strikeforce 185-pound champion, but he’s also confident he can defeat Souza if he sticks to his game.
“It’s probably the toughest fight of my career, but it’s a good match-up for me, because I feel like he’s never fought anybody like me,” said Herman. “I don’t want to screw around too much with him, but I want to work my ground and pound, work my hands, my clinch and do what I do best.
“I can pressure him, make him tired, make him taste his own blood and make him quit. That’s what I do best is just grind guys down, break their will, and I’m going to try to do that with him.”
Herman feels a victory over Souza not only will start the year off right for him, but also help springboard him in the rankings, which will only become more difficult to achieve once Strikeforce fighters integrate with the UFC in the coming months.
“With every fight being so tough these days – especially for me, since they don’t give me any easy ones – I’ve got to go in there and get a win, and then from there things can really go up for me,” said Herman. “I believe that I’ve always been a little underrated, and any of the guys I’ve fought in my weight class they know I’m tough and that I’m not an easy fight.
“I believe I’m right there right now, but I’ve got to prove it a little bit more to the fans, the UFC and everybody else that I’m a Top 10 guy. That’s the plan here, is to go in there and put it on Jacare and show that even with this transition and all these guys coming in that I am a Top 10 guy.”
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