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After a light heavyweight bout on Saturday’s prelims, four gloves were put on the canvas of the Octagon, marking the end of two careers. Veteran UFC fighters Zak Cummings and Ed Herman both called an end to their MMA careers after facing each other on Saturday night in Kansas City, Missouri.
Zak Cummings scored a third-round finish win against Herman in their meeting, stopping him in the final minute of a bout that he had control of on the feet throughout. The fight also went to the ground briefly, although the flow of the fight was hurt there twice due to Herman landing an accidental strike to a grounded opponent both times.
Zak Cummings bids farewell in front of hometown
Following his victory, 38-year-old Cummings announced in front of his hometown that he has written the last chapter of his UFC career.
“I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I [had] two fights on my contract,” said Cummings in his post-fight interview, reflecting on how he felt going into this fight. “I got one left [now]. I can’t think of a better way to go out [than] in front of this crowd.”
Cummings started to talk about how he never became a champion, but his speech was interrupted by his daughter running into the cage to give him a hug.
Zak Cummings joined the UFC roster in 2012 through season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter. At the time, he was a middleweight. He would later also appear as a welterweight and at light heavyweight, which he competed at this weekend. He attained a record of 10 wins through 14 appearances during a decade-long stretch with the promotion.
Saturday was Zak Cummings’ return to the cage, appearing for the first time in nearly three years. The long layoff was due to injury, as he says he had to deal with a herniated disc during that time period.
His most recent fight prior to Saturday was a unanimous decision victory against Alessio Di Chirico in 2020.
In the lead-up to Saturday’s fight, Zak Cummings said that part of why he returned was so his daughter could see him fight.
“My oldest daughter, she’s five and a half now. She knows what’s going on now. She understands,” he said in an interview with The AllStar earlier this week. “That’s one of the biggest reasons I came back. She wanted to witness it. She wanted to be there.”
Herman ends UFC run after 25th promotional appearance
Just moments after Cummings announced his departure, the mic was brought over to Herman. At 42, he also decided to put an end to his MMA career.
“I just want to thank the UFC and all the fans, and everybody who supported me the last 17 years … Thank you so much for all the great years. It’s been a hell of a career. I think I’m going to hang ’em up here in this cage in Kansas City,” he said.
Herman’s start in the UFC goes all the way back to The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 in 2006. He first joined the promotion as a middleweight, though he made the move up to light heavyweight in 2016.
Like Cummings, Herman was also appearing in the cage for the first time in a while. His prior appearance was a 2021 decision loss to Alonzo Menifield.
The fast-paced UFC prelims had to move on to a flyweight fight after this one. But before the focus went to a big first-round finish for Brandon Royval against Matheus Nicolau, one last visual was shown for this fight: the two light heavyweights on their knees and embracing in a hug as their MMA gloves laid flat on the UFC canvas.
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