Heath Herring Wants MMA Return, but Only on Own Terms

Away from MMA competition for nearly three years, UFC heavyweight Heath Herring says he definitely wants to return to the cage -- but only under the right circumstances.

"It would have to make sense not only business-wise, but financially as well and I just don't know if that's in the cards at this moment," Herring told Ariel Helwani Monday on MMAFighting.com's The MMA Hour.

On the show, Herring said he has not been training MMA full-time and would need to devote the majority of his time towards training if he wants to be fight in today's competitive landscape.

This means the incentive to fight would have to be great enough for him to set aside his current outside projects. Herring has taken to acting, co-hosting an internet radio show and even enjoying a respectable run on the poker circuit. In January, Herring finished fourth and won $38,000 in a televised poker event.

Herring, who turned 33 last week, began competing in MMA in 1997 and was last seen inside the Octagon losing to Brock Lesnar at UFC 87. He hasn't fought in part due to contractual issues with the UFC. While Herring refused to elaborate on the disagreement, he said he attempted to step out of his contract "out of principle." Herring hopes the dispute will be resolved soon and has already received calls from other promotions.

Now sporting a heavy beard, Herring admits he still misses MMA, but the extent of his participation in the sport has been limited to training with up-and-coming amateur fighters and the occasional cornering work. However, Herring says he keeps up with with the news and whether he eventually decides to return or not, expects to always be around the sport. After all, there's no way to escape the 14 years of his life he's already dedicated towards MMA.

"You can't be in something this long and not be a part of it, to not be interested and not care," Herring said. "You can pretend that you don't -- even like [Andre] Agassi when he says he hates tennis, he still watches, he's still around it. It's just a big part of your life."

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