Heath Herring

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Heath Herring
Heath Herring.png
Born (1978-03-02) March 2, 1978 (age 36)
Waco, Texas,
Other names The Texas Crazy Horse
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 114 kg (251 lb; 17 st 13 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 78 in (198 cm)
Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada
Team Golden Glory
Las Vegas Combat Club
Xtreme Couture[1]
Trainer Cor Hemmers
Years active 1997 - 2008 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 43
Wins 28
By knockout 7
By submission 16
By decision 4
By disqualification 1
Losses 14
By knockout 4
By submission 2
By decision 8
No contests 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Heath Herring (born March 2, 1978[2]) is a retired American Heavyweight professional mixed martial artist who attained popularity fighting for PRIDE FC in Japan and most recently fought in the UFC.

Background[edit]

Herring was born in Waco, Texas and was raised in Amarillo, Texas. His mother is a psychologist working for the Texas prison system and his father is an attorney who owns two different law firms. Herring attended Amarillo High School and excelled at football while being pursued by the school's wrestling coach to try wrestling. Herring initially resisted, but in his senior year Herring began wrestling and qualified as one of the top ten wrestlers in the state for the state championships. Soon after, he began practicing sambo. Herring began training to fight in mixed martial arts when he graduated high school at the age of 18, but also continued his football career as a defensive end for West Texas A&M University's Division II program, although he did not finish his college education.[3]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

PRIDE Fighting Championships[edit]

Herring is a longtime veteran in PRIDE, where he participated in 17 fights.[4] He took part in the first PRIDE Heavyweight Championship fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira where he lost by unanimous decision. Despite his earlier championship loss to Nogueira, he was widely considered the number one contender until his first round loss to Fedor Emelianenko. Herring was very popular with the Japanese crowd for his unique hairstyles and colors, as well as sporting a duster coat and cowboy hat to the ring during his entrances.[5]

He parted ways with PRIDE in late 2004 because of management disputes.

New Year's Eve kiss[edit]

On December 31, 2005, Herring was involved in a memorable MMA moment during K-1's Dynamite 2005 show. During the pre-fight staredown, his opponent, Yoshihiro Nakao, leaned in and kissed him on the lips. Herring reacted, delivering a right hook to the jaw of Nakao, knocking him out cold. Herring was immediately disqualified and Nakao was carried from the ring. Shortly thereafter, Nakao's cornermen attacked Herring and a brief fight ensued. Herring's trainers, Ricardo Pires and Sergio Penha[6] fought with Nakao's trainers until security stopped the fight. The fight result has since been changed by K-1 from a disqualification loss for Herring to a no contest, as K-1 judges ruled that Nakao's kiss and Herring's subsequent knockout punch were both fouls.[7]

Transition to the UFC[edit]

Herring was considered a hired gun to shake up the UFC's Heavyweight division. He lost to Jake O'Brien via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 8 in his UFC debut.

On Saturday, April 7, 2007, at UFC 69 Heath faced off against The Ultimate Fighter 2 Heavyweight finalist Brad Imes. Herring won the match by unanimous decision after 3 rounds.

At UFC 73, Herring lost via unanimous decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but not before he landed a left high kick to Nogueira's head late in the first round. Nogueira was sent to the ground, visibly stunned, but Herring did not engage him and attempt to finish the fight, opting to stand up shortly after the kick and beckoned Nogueira to stand as well. The referee motioned Noguiera to stand up after the brief flurry on the ground, giving Herring the advantage but Herring was not able to finish the fight in the first round.

At UFC 82 Heath won a three round split-decision against rising contender Cheick Kongo. While both are considered strikers, much of the fight took place on the ground. After the fight Heath said he was not happy with the fight, he wanted to give the fans a stand-up fight and Kongo refused to stand with him. Herring also said after the fight that he did not even train at all for the ground game.

Herring fought Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 after Mark Coleman was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury.[8] The fight went the full 3 rounds and Lesnar was declared winner by unanimous decision. Herring was knocked down early in the first round with a straight right. According to Heath Herring's official Facebook profile in a note titled "6 Months To Rest", Herring is said to have suffered a broken orbital bone from the first punch of the fight. Herring was scheduled to fight Cain Velasquez at UFC 99, but was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed illness.

Herring stated in November 2010 that he wants to fight as soon as possible. He was still under contract with the UFC and was expected to make his return.[9]

In September 2011, responding to a question asked via Twitter, UFC President Dana White commented that Herring "...retired after the Lesnar fight".[10]

Herring has taken up the hobby of playing poker since his retirement from MMA.[11]

Film career[edit]

Heath Herring starred in Never Surrender, released by Lions Gate Entertainment in 2009 as well as Circle of Pain. He has also appeared in Hell's Chain, Unrivaled, Beatdown, and Division III: Football's Finest.

Personal life[edit]

Herring got married when he was 18 years old and has a daughter, but is now divorced. Herring's brother also competed in MMA, holding an undefeated 5-0 record before attending Baylor University to play football as an offensive tackle. Herring currently lives in Las Vegas. Before becoming a professional fighter, he worked as a computer programmer.[12]

Championships and Accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 28–14 (1) Brock Lesnar Decision (unanimous) UFC 87 August 9, 2008 3 5:00 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States Herring retired after fight
Win 28–13 (1) Cheick Kongo Decision (split) UFC 82 March 1, 2008 3 5:00 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Loss 27–13 (1) Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Decision (unanimous) UFC 73 July 7, 2007 3 5:00 Sacramento, California, United States
Win 27–12 (1) Brad Imes Decision (unanimous) UFC 69 April 7, 2007 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Loss 26–12 (1) Jake O'Brien Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Evans vs Salmon January 25, 2007 3 5:00 Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 26–11 (1) Gary Goodridge TKO (punches) Hero's 4 March 15, 2006 2 1:55 Tokyo, Japan
NC 25–11 (1) Yoshihiro Nakao No Contest K-1 PREMIUM 2005 Dynamite!! December 31, 2005 1 0:00 Osaka, Japan Nakao kissed Herring during the pre-match staredown, to which Herring knocked him out with a punch rendering him unable to continue.
Loss 25–11 Sam Greco TKO (knee injury) Hero's 1 March 26, 2005 1 2:24 Saitama, Japan
Win 25–10 Hirotaka Yokoi TKO (knees) Pride 28 October 31, 2004 1 1:55 Saitama, Japan
Loss 24–10 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (anaconda choke) Pride Critical Countdown 2004 June 20, 2004 2 0:30 Saitama, Japan
Win 24–9 Kazuo Takahashi TKO (punches) Pride Total Elimination 2004 April 25, 2004 1 4:53 Saitama, Japan
Win 23–9 Gan McGee Decision (split) Pride 27 February 1, 2004 3 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Win 22–9 Paulo Cesar Silva Submission (rear-naked choke) Pride Shockwave 2003 December 31, 2003 3 0:35 Saitama, Japan
Win 21–9 Yoshihisa Yamamoto Submission (rear-naked choke) Pride Final Conflict 2003 November 9, 2003 3 2:29 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 20–9 Mirko Filipovic TKO (kick to the body and punches) Pride 26 June 8, 2003 1 3:17 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 20–8 Fedor Emelianenko TKO (doctor stoppage) Pride 23 November 24, 2002 1 10:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 20–7 Yuriy Kochkine TKO (knees) Pride 22 September 29, 2002 1 7:31 Nagoya, Japan
Win 19–7 Igor Vovchanchyn Decision (unanimous) Pride 19 February 24, 2002 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Loss 18–7 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Decision (unanimous) Pride 17 November 3, 2001 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan For PRIDE Heavyweight Championship
Win 18–6 Mark Kerr TKO (knees) Pride 15 July 29, 2001 2 4:56 Saitama, Japan
Loss 17–6 Vitor Belfort Decision (unanimous) Pride 14 May 27, 2001 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 17–5 Denis Sobolev Submission (keylock) Pride 13 March 25, 2001 1 0:22 Saitama, Japan
Win 16–5 Enson Inoue TKO (knees) Pride 12 December 9, 2000 1 4:52 Saitama, Japan
Win 15–5 Tom Erikson Submission (rear-naked choke) Pride 11 October 31, 2000 1 6:17 Osaka, Japan
Win 14–5 Willie Peeters Submission (rear-naked choke) Pride 9 June 4, 2000 1 0:48 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 13–5 Ramazan Mezhidov TKO (cut) IAFC: Pankration World Championship 2000 Day 2 April 29, 2000 1 4:55 Moscow, Russia
Win 13–4 Rene Rooze DQ (excessive fouling) 2 Hot 2 Handle 1 March 5, 2000 1 3:20 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Win 12–4 Bob Schrijber TKO (punches) World Vale Tudo Championship 9 September 27, 1999 1 2:19 Aruba
Win 11–4 Sean McCully Submission (kimura) World Vale Tudo Championship 9 September 27, 1999 1 0:43 Aruba
Win 10–4 Michael Tielrooy Submission (keylock) World Vale Tudo Championship 9 September 27, 1999 1 1:14 Aruba
Loss 9–4 Bobby Hoffman Decision (unanimous) SuperBrawl 13 September 7, 1999 2 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 9–3 Rocky Batastini Submission (rear-naked choke) SuperBrawl 13 September 7, 1999 1 1:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Loss 8–3 Alexandre Ferreira Decision (split) World Vale Tudo Championship 8 July 1, 1999 1 30:00 Aruba
Win 8–2 Kavkaz Soultanmagomedov Submission (punches) World Vale Tudo Championship 8 July 1, 1999 1 1:18 Aruba
Win 7–2 Erwin van den Steen Submission (punches) World Vale Tudo Championship 8 July 1, 1999 1 4:33 Aruba
Win 6–2 Gabe Beauperthy Submission (armlock) Bas Rutten Invitational 3 June 1, 1999 1 4:43 Colorado, United States
Win 5–2 Hoss Carter Submission (keylock) Bas Rutten Invitational 3 June 1, 1999 1 1:07 Colorado, United States
Loss 4–2 Travis Fulton Decision (unanimous) Extreme Challenge 24 May 15, 1999 1 12:00 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 4–1 Phil Deason Submission (keylock) WVF: Durango April 17, 1999 1 0:13 Durango, Colorado, United States
Win 3–1 Nik Bickle Submission (punches) WVF: Durango April 17, 1999 1 0:32 Durango, Colorado, United States
Win 2–1 Evan Tanner Submission (rear-naked choke) PSDA November 22, 1997 1 8:20 Texas, United States
Loss 1–1 Evan Tanner Submission (exhaustion) Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 7 October 18, 1997 1 6:19 Texas, United States
Win 1–0 Chris Guillen Submission (rear-naked choke) Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 4 April 12, 1997 1 2:10 Amarillo, Texas, United States

References[edit]

External links[edit]