UFC’s Ed Herman details accident that led to him losing part of finger

Ed Herman was hoping to save himself a few bucks and maybe learn some things about how wells work in the process. But things went terribly wrong for the UFC light heavyweight fighter Tuesday morning.

Herman was helping repair the well that distributes water to his home when his hand got caught and the tip of his left pointer finger was ripped off. Herman posted two graphic photos of the result on social media.

“As each section of pipe comes out, you put the clamp on the pipe and then you unscrew it and take it out,” Herman told MMA Fighting. “Then you gotta hook the crane thing back up to the next piece of piping. But I kind of jumped the gun and didn’t realize he didn’t hook it back up all the way. I pulled the clamp lever and it started falling back down into the well housing and my instincts were to grab a hold of it. For some reason. Like I could actually catch it, I’m so strong.

“It just sucked my hand right down into the well housing. Before I could let go of it all the way, it caught the tip of my finger and just chopped the tip of my finger off. Luckily I kind of let go or it would have took all four of my fingers. I’m kind of lucky in a sense that it didn’t do that.”

Herman, 36, said he’ll have to go in for surgery with an orthopedist later this week. The actual finger tip cannot be attached, he said, but the plan right now is for him to undergo some kind of plastic surgery to repair the wound.

The well near Herman’s country home, in a small town outside Battle Ground, Wash., has not been working and he and his family have been without running water for nearly two weeks, he said. Someone came to fix it Tuesday and told Herman he could save a few hundred bucks if he helped out rather than calling a second hand.

“I try to be handy, which obviously I’m not that handy,” Herman said. “I was trying to help the guy out and learn a little bit, too, about how the well system is set up. I didn’t think it would be that dangerous. I guess I’ll just stick to punching people.”

Herman said he’ll rely on the UFC’s accident insurance, which has a deductible of $1,500, for the surgery, which will be a major help. His regular insurance, Herman said, has a higher deductible and would have cost him much more.

The 14-year MMA vet does not plan on having his ability in the Octagon affected by the accident.

“I don’t think so,” Herman said. “It’s just like a half inch of the finger. It could be possibly a little bit of grip, like when I’m grabbing around the wrist or when I’m doing gi training. Now I’ll only have three grips to grab with. But they should be able to make me a nice little stub that I’m still able to use. It shouldn’t be an issue.”

Herman (23-13, 1 NC), who fell to CB Dollaway at the TUF 25 Finale in July by unanimous decision, just had surgery to repair a torn ACL. He doesn’t expect to be able to fight again for about one year. Herman joked that “when it rains, it pours,” since now he’ll have another injury to deal with.

For the most part, though, Herman is in good spirits and self-deprecating about the finger accident.

“It was totally a stupid ass move,” he said with a laugh.