Bellator Offers Disgruntled Heavyweight Dave Herman Bout vs. Ricco Rodriguez

Heavyweight prospect Dave Herman is currently embroiled in a breach of contract lawsuit against Bellator, but the promotion has made another attempt at reconciliation, offering him a Sept. 9 date against former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez, MMA Fighting has learned.

Herman (16-2), signed with the upstart promotion nearly two years ago, yet has fought only once under their banner, earning a first-round TKO over Josh Barnes in May 2009.



Earlier this week, Sherdog.com reported that Herman has initiated litigation against Bellator, and the promotion responded with a countersuit of its own.

The 25-year-old is considered a rising star in the heavyweight ranks. Nicknamed "Pee Wee," the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder went 3-0 during a run in the now-defunct EliteXC promotion, earning wins over quality veterans Ron Waterman and Kerry Schall.

It remains unclear whether Herman will consider the offer, though a source with knowledge of the situation said Rodriguez has accepted the fight, which would take place in New Orleans.

However, it seems obvious that both sides would have to settle their legal differences before continuing the strained relationship. Herman told Sherdog that he'd be willing to hear any match offers and even fight under the Bellator banner again, but that the organization would at least have to pay his attorney's fees, which he estimates in the $30,000-$50,000 range.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, is in the middle of what appears to be a career resurgence. A onetime UFC heavyweight champ, Rodriguez went through a long period of personal turmoil due to substance abuse that was documented during his time on the VH-1 show Celebrity Rehab. Since the start of 2009, Rodriguez is 8-1, and is currently riding a seven-fight win streak. The 32-year-old is 43-11 during his 11-year career.

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