After long and successful runs with the UFC, both Zak Cummings and Ed Herman have officially retired in style. Cummings, 38, won a well-deserved decision over Herman in a light heavyweight fight at UFC Kansas City, and after the match, both fighters left their gloves in the ring and announced their retirements on the mic.
Cummings had earlier hinted that this could be the last fight of his 16-year career (10 with the UFC) and followed through with that decision in his post-fight interview. What a fitting end for Cummings, who got to retire in front of his hometown crowd in Missouri. “I can’t thank you all enough for your support,” Cummings said. “I started my professional career here in Missouri, and I fought here again when the UFC came to Kansas City six years ago. It was also six years ago to the day that I fought in mixed martial arts for the first time. It’s really great to end my career in front of all you wonderful people. I could not be more grateful. I love you guys!”
He continued, “I didn’t know what to expect today. I had two fights remaining on my contract, but I definitely wanted to finish off in front of this lively crowd. I got three wins, three finishes in the UFC, competing in three different weight classes. That is an accomplishment in itself. I wasn’t a world champion, but I have no regrets about my career.”
When Cummings’ daughter joined him during his retirement speech, the emotions were palpable. “I wasn’t sure if I could do it again after my injury, but my daughter told me she wants to see me fight, that this is what I do, and that meant everything to me,” Cummings recalled.
Herman also hung up his gloves, retiring from his 20-year pro fighting career and a 17-year tenure with the UFC. He came into the UFC fold back in 2006 thanks to his performance on The Ultimate Fighter 3 in which he finished as the runner-up. Herman congratulated Cummings and thanked the UFC and fans for their tremendous support over the years.
“It’s been a hell of a career, and I’m going to retire here in Kansas City. I miss my family and I’m so glad they got to be here with me today. Thank you all for everything,” Herman said. Cummings finishes his UFC run with a 10-4 record competing welterweight, middleweight, and now light heavyweight.