by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Saturday night, the UFC continues its global expansion when it hosts its first ever show in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Headlined by a match between former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin and rising star Yushin Okami, the event will take place at the Odyssey Arena. Also scheduled to appear is Ultimate Fighter 3 runner-up Ed Herman. On the undercard, “Short Fuse” will face Scott Smith in middleweight action.

“I’m pumped to be fighting in Ireland,” elated Herman. “It’s the homeland, I’m excited you know. I’m sure the fans are stoked to have us there.”

After graduating from high school, Ed moved to Portland, Oregon where he joined Team Quest. Training with some of the best fighters in the world, Herman enjoyed success early on and claimed a few titles in different organizations including the Sportfight Light Heavyweight Championship.

Herman would later become a contestant on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter and his short-fused personality garnered him a lot of attention and many new fans. The Team Quest fighter would make it all the way to the finals to face Kendall Grove, but fell short of his goal, losing a close decision. Both fighters entertained the crowd and gave a great performance at the finale. Although Herman lost the fight, UFC President Dana White was so impressed with his performance that he offered Ed a contract as well.

Early in his Octagon career, Ed suffered two disappointing back-to-back losses to Kendall Grove and Jason MacDonald. At Ultimate Fight Night 8, Herman rebounded with an armbar win over Chris Price. Having tasted his first UFC victory, Herman has been training hard for his next fight.

“I’ve been training non-stop, harder than I’ve trained ever before. My training camp has been awesome this time. You train as much as your body lets you and this time my body has let me train more than enough. Sometimes you’re coming off of injuries and you can only train once or twice a day. I’ve been able to train 2-3 times, 6 days a week,” said Herman. “[I’ve been training] pretty much exclusively with Team Quest. We got a new boxing coach and went up to visit Matt Hume a few times; worked out with him and [Chris] Leben there.”

Ever outspoken, the Portland resident expressed his displeasure regarding being excluded from the main card of UFC 72. “It’s bull**** that I’m not on the main card. There’s no way they’re not going to show my fight when I put the smack down on Smith. I’m upset that I’m not on the main card. You got [Forrest] Griffin and [Clay] Guida, both of those guys are coming off of losses and they’re on the main card. Both are good friends of mine and good fighters, don’t get me wrong. Also, [Jason] MacDonald and [Rory] Singer, they’re both coming off of losses too. I just came off of an exciting victory, why the hell am I not on the main card?”

This Saturday, Ed Herman will face another former Ultimate Fighter contestant in Scott Smith. The “Hands of Steel” is a former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion and recently rebounded from a decision loss to Patrick Cote at UFC 67. Smith made highlight reels with a spectacular come-from-behind knockout of Pete Sell in November of last year.

“I’m going to knock Scott Smith out. He’s going to come in looking to knock me out, that’s what he does,” commented Herman about his opponent. “I want to come in and hit him in the face a few times, back him up on his heels. When he’s backing up and people are throwing at him, his offense shuts down. He’s good coming forward and putting the heat on. When he backs up, he shuts down. I’m going to hurt him on his feet before I take him down and make him quit.

“One way or another, this fight is going to be blazing. I’d like to finish him quick. If I don’t finish him quick, it’s still going to be a great fight. It’s going to be a scrap.”

A win over Smith would put Ed Herman back into the title contention. So what does the future hold for “Short Fuse”?

“I’m going to take it one fight at a time. Definitely, I’d like to go in there and win so that the UFC recognizes that I’m there. I want to fight the best guys. I want to be up there and prove to people that I can bang with the best of them.”