Brocktober isn't always about celebration, sometimes it's necessary to remember those that have gone on before us. Such is the case with "The Texas Crazyhorse" Heath Herring. Herring was one of the most recognizable faces in MMA. HIs cowboy hat, black leather duster and often crazy hairstyles made him stand out amongst a sea of bland fighters with crewcuts and generic tribal tattoos. His fighting style, particularly his fondness with "Stand and Bang" made him a favorite among the crowds. Herring rose to popularity in the PRIDE organization in Japan. At one point, he was the 4th best Heavyweight in the world according to most ranking systems with wins over Hoss Carter and Mark Kerr.
Though he never tasted gold in PRIDE, he still rose to a level of infamy. His most notorious moment was in a "fight" with Yoshihiro Nakao in which Nakao couldn't resist kissing Herring and Herring, who doesn't kiss on the 1st date, knocked him out with one punch. Though the fight did not take place, Herring was sure to let us know that he wasn't gay and that he hit Nakao because he "tried to kiss me like a homosexual".
Soon after PRIDE was bought out by the UFC, Herring was given a couple fights in the UFC including a fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in which he had the Brazilian hurt, but his fear of going to the ground caused him to let Minotauro back to his feet. After amassing a 2-2 record in the UFC, Herring was matched up against BROCKLESNARRRR! at UFC 87. Though Herring didn't physically kiss Lesnar, his words and actions sealed his fate. Brock Lesnar broke his face. No, that isn't hyperbole, Brock Lesnar really broke his face. With one punch. The FIRST punch. As if that wasn't enough, what followed was a 3 round beatdown as Herring's face was turned into hamburger and his ribs battered and broken. It was one of those "life reflection" ass-whippins. Herring decided it was better to retire and make movies.
So as we celebrate Brocktober and feast upon racks of lamb and pints of ale, let us pour a little out for Heath Herring, one hell of a guy and certainly not a homosexual.
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