Following back-to-back knee injuries, Ed Herman is turning over a new leaf in Colorado.
The UFC middleweight today spoke to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and revealed he has left Team Quest and plans to open a new gym with teammate Ryan Schultz in Fort Collins, Colo., where he now resides.
Meanwhile, he is nursing his knee back to health and hopes to be able to train at full bore in November. If all goes well, he anticipates a return to the UFC octagon in the first quarter of 2011.
The 29-year-old Herman (19-7 MMA, 4-5 UFC) blew his ACL and meniscus almost a year ago when he fought Aaron Simpson in Portland, Ore., at UFC 102. It was his third loss in four octagon appearances.
He underwent surgery this past September to repair the damaged ligament. Then, four months later, he re-injured it during a routine training session.
Needless to say, he’s had a lot of thinking time on the couch.
“I’m just now getting back to some light training,” Herman said. “I really wanted to take my time and let this heal right, and we’re about to open our gym, so it works out perfect.”
The Vancouver, Wash. native said it was difficult leaving the Pacific Northwest, but he had become disenchanted with his training.
“I’d been wanting to make a move for a while,” Herman said. “Things are kind of falling apart out in Oregon at (Team) Quest a little bit, and Matt Lindland’s not the best person to be around all the time, so we needed to make our move.”
Herman, who was the middleweight runner-up on the third season of the UFC’s reality series (“The Ultimate Fighter”), trained at the Gresham, Ore. gym for the bulk of his professional career.
“There’s no bridges burned or anything, but I didn’t like the way fighters were getting taken care of,” he said. “I didn’t like the way students were getting taken care of. There were a lot of promises to me that were never fulfilled. So we had to make a move and make things happen ourself instead of bitching and whining about stuff (and) not having this and not having that.”
Prior to their exit, Herman and Schultz were coaches in the gym’s student program.
The team recently got a blast of publicity when UFC middleweight and Team Quest regular Chael Sonnen dominated Anderson Silva at UFC 117 before falling prey to a last-minute submission that cost him a title (but earned him an immediate rematch).
But Herman contends Team Quest did not adequately prepare Sonnen for the Aug. 7 fight.
“Chael did all that pretty much without any training partners,” Herman said. “[Chael’s] main training partner is Tyson Jeffries, who’s a stud young guy, and maybe Matt Lindland and a couple of other guys like Pat and Ryan Healy. But those are his main training partners getting ready for that fight against Anderson Silva. Team Quest didn’t bring in one person to help.”
Founded by Lindland, Dan Henderson and Randy Couture, the team has produced a long list of top fighters in its 11-year history, including Sonnen, Chris Leben, Nate Quarry, Evan Tanner, Schultz and many others.
“I’m not taking anything away from the quality of guys who have come out of Quest,” Herman said. “Look at all the quality guys Quest has produced, especially Team Quest North. Some talented, talented guys.
“Chael has been one of my greatest partners for years and years, and I hated to leave him, but Matt really left us no choice.”
Lindland was surprised about Herman’s statements when contacted today by MMAjunkie.com.
“I think when guys get injured and they sit on their couch a lot, they get time to sit and think about who’s not taking care of them,” Lindland said. “They’re out of the limelight, especially somebody that came off a reality show that was getting a lot attention, and they’re not getting that attention daily from the media (and) from the fans. They’re hoping to get it from somebody else, and that’s not really my job to sit there and tell guys how great they were because they were on the cast of a television show.
“I do think [Herman has] a lot of potential in the sport, and he’s welcome here anytime he wants to come back and train. I didn’t know that he wasn’t getting his needs met because I didn’t realize he had any needs other than physical.”
Herman and Shultz hope to have their new gym open by October. As for his octagon career, “Short Fuse” is targeting a return in February or March of 2011.
“I’m going crazy, man,” Herman said. “It’s been a year now since my injury, and I can’t even wait to get back into the gym and get punched in the face a couple of times. But getting back in the cage is the ultimate goal. I’ve got to get myself healthy and back in shape and feeling good.
“I feel like I can make a good run.”
by Steven Marrocco