Win or lose, Heath Herring will never stray from a 13-year credo: entertainment first, results second.
The ?Texas Crazy Horse? has never had it easy, in Pride or the UFC. He?s faced enough top-ranked fighters for three men?s careers. The difference between the two organizations, he says, is that entertainment is job security in Japan.
?It was a whole different thing,? said Herring. ?The fighters were pushed more to go out there and put on a good show. The UFC?s definitely, if you don?t win ? especially with the contracts they have ? they?ll cut you with a loss. So I have had to change my mentality a little bit.?
Given the mismatches that continue to dot the Japanese scene, not much has changed.
?In Pride, I used to take fights on 10-day notice, one-week notice,? he continued. ?And as long as you went out and put on a good show, you were fine. You?d be back next time. UFC?s a little different. And I think the drawback of that is that sometimes you get really boring fights. You have guys that are worried about winning; they?re not really worried about putting on a show. I think you?ve seen that in the last couple of events in the UFC, and that?s the double-edged sword.?
For much of the decade, the 31-year-old has held a spot on Top 10 heavyweight lists. He?s fallen short to the division?s elite, but had many high-profile wins, particularly in his early Pride days.
Whatever the outcome, he believes fighting is about the show, or more aptly, the rodeo.