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Heath Herring’s MMA Career in Holding Pattern While He Waits for UFC Release

("I think I’ll go to Hollywood where the competition is easier.")

It’s been over two years since Heath Herring last walked into a cage or a ring to compete, which left many wondering if he would ever fight again.

Now "The Texas Crazy Horse," who walked away from the sport to pursue an acting career is going stir crazy to get back to fighting, but because of a contract dispute with the UFC is unsure of when he will be able to compete again.

After a shaky 2-3 UFC run which included a drubbing by Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 in his last fight in August of 2008, Herring’s future with the company looked bleak, especially since a losing record didn’t give him the upper hand in negotiating better paydays or a more lucrative contract.

Most assumed that he had left or been dropped by the UFC for disparaging remarks he made about the company (*see Todd Duffee), but Herring says he was offered fights by the promotion over the past two years, but because of terms of the fights and their locations, he turned them down.

If you recall, he pulled out of a UFC 99 bout with Cain Velasquez in Germany due to an undisclosed illness, which has now been identified as upyoursZuffayoucheapbastards.

“There were a couple of times [since the Lesnar fight] where the UFC wanted me to go overseas and do a fight for them, but it was tough,” Herring told “The UFC would do things like ask me to fight overseas but then only pay for one hotel room for me and my coaching staff. If I’m having to pay for hotel rooms, and they’re making as much money as they are on pay-per-views, it’s just not financially worthwhile for me to take that fight.”

He wants out of the expired contract with the Zuffa LLC-owned organization, but says that the UFC can block him from fighting elsewhere.

“I’m kind of in a weird deal with the UFC right now,” said Herring. “Supposedly I’m free and clear, but the UFC is able to match any offer I get for a year. I’ve had some offers, but I’m not sure if the UFC would let me sign somewhere else.”

I’m not sure what the market rate is for a former PRIDE fighter who hasn’t fought in two years and who is 4-5 since 2004, but he may want to check that out before walking away from the UFC for good.

In the meantime, Herring has a his busy movie career. Thankfully there is no shortage of demand for mohawked-thugs in Hollywood.

“I did quite a few movies [in 2009]. This year, I’ve done two or three movies and some reality show pilots, but the economy has really slowed things down lately," he explains. "I’m supposed to be in a movie with Jean Claude Van Damme and Wesley Snipes called ‘Havana Heat’ that we’re going to shoot in Colombia, but I think that’s going to be put off until after the holidays.”

Wait. Aren’t you supposed to do reality shows AFTER your acting career has fizzled out? Maybe SAG the rates for "bar fighter # 6" aren’t as good as they used to be.

Whatever the reason for his wanting to return to the fight game, I’m not going to count him out until he starts telling everyone that "the old Heath Herring is back."

Heath has always been a supporter of the military, so you have to give him props for that. We’ll just have to wait and see what kind of fighter Hollywood has turned him into. It didn’t do much for Cung Le.

“I definitely miss fighting. I didn’t know anything else for 14 years, and everything I have comes from mixed martial arts. This isn’t what I’m used to doing. Sometimes it gets me down, but I’ve been in eight movies in about two years. It’s weird to not have a fight to look forward to, but I try to keep myself busy with work and have a goal to work towards," he explains. "Still, sometimes it’s hard not to go stir crazy. I’m working out all the time, but there’s a clear difference between training just to stay in shape and training to get ready for a fight,” said Herring. “I’ve been making ends meet. I know I’ll be doing more seminars, and I might be going to Korea to work with the troops over there. I like working with the troops and working with people.”

Cagepotato Comments

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CungwantsCookies- November 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm
well played, taco. well played, indeed.
WalksInTheDarkness- November 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm
Man, I never noticed that the Potato has "Zuffa screwing fighters" as one of it's tags. I love this website more and more every day.

And Heezu Helling would be awesome for the Bum Rush. Make it happen, Potato Men!
Fried Taco- November 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm
@RwilsonR Luckily the disease I'm affected with is apathy.
RwilsonR- November 2, 2010 at 11:24 am
@ Fried Taco - My nerdy correction for the day: Actually, "-itis" just indicates an inflammation. Generally, the suffix "-path", "-pathic", or "-pathy" generically indicates disease. So unless you were describing a specific symptom of Herring's disease, the generic disease would likely be upyoursZuffayoucheapbastardopathy (however, your HTML tag knowledge far exceeds mine with the use of italics, so I tip my hat to you on that, good sir).
Fried Taco- November 2, 2010 at 10:44 am
He should make some really stupid and embarrassing comments, like some other fighters have done in the past, and Dana will let him know right away via Twitter where he stands. Or he could go on the Bum Rush radio show.

BTW, all diseases are supposed to end in "-itis" so the correct disease name would be upyoursZuffayoucheapbastardsitis.
JoseMonkey- November 2, 2010 at 10:42 am
@Salazin Herring vs. Schaub? No way. Schaub has done enough to earn himself a shot at somebody higher up the ladder. Herring would be a step down for him.

I'd like to see Schaub get a shot at somebody like Big Nog, Mir, or maybe Struve.

I can't even decide who to match Herring up against at this point. Hardonk? Maybe a rematch with Cheick Kongo?
jimbonics- November 2, 2010 at 10:22 am
According to IMDB, he's in an upcoming movie called Division III: Football's Finest...

...where he plays a guy named Brock.
danomite- November 2, 2010 at 10:14 am
this is strange, because some time last week I was wondering what the hell ever happened to Heath Herring, then after not being able to find anything on wikipedia, said to myself "who gives a shit?" and put it out of my mind. it appears there were a lack of updates about heath herring's status because he has been doing absolutely shit for the last two years. anyways, at least i won't have to wonder about what he's been doing anymore.

oh, and i just read some breaking news that Nate Marquardt is filing or bankruptcy.
RwilsonR- November 2, 2010 at 10:07 am
I doesn't sound like the UFC is holding him up. It sounds like he just hasn't checked with them.

But good to know Heath Herring is getting a lot of work in Hollywood. He did three movies this year? Huh...? I must have missed them. It sounds like he is becoming the "it" person for straight-to-video extras. He is like the Katherine Heigl of "C" movies.
Mike Russell- November 2, 2010 at 10:04 am
 Marquardt's new manager is MC Hammer.
Salazin- November 2, 2010 at 10:03 am
I want Heath Herring vs. Brendan Schaub immediately.

P.S. Why is Nate Marquardt in an MC Hammer video making fun of Jay-Z?