Dave Herman was submitted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the second round of their heavyweight contest at UFC 153.
The result marks Herman's third straight defeat, the third time in a row that he has been stopped and his overall inability to hang with the promotion's veterans.
While there are many fighters currently in the employ of Zuffa that aren't at Herman's level, he came to the UFC with moderate expectations that he has since come nowhere near meeting.
At 1-3, Herman's only UFC win came in his debut. And while many will remember his back-and-forth contest with John Olav Einemo as a defining performance for Herman, it was only the excitement of the bout that masked an otherwise shaky and mediocre display of skill.
Since barely outstriking a renowned grappler for his only 'W,' Herman has been soundly defeated three times. Each fight in isolation means, little—all came against tough opponents—but together they form a trend. A trend defined by his latest performance.
At UFC 153 Herman looked awful. On the feet he rarely mounted any sort of offense, stood almost entirely still and left his chin unmoved for essentially the whole match.
On the mat he was able to at least make locking in the submission a challenge for Big Nog, but that just delayed the inevitable result, which the legend finally grasped at the 4:31 mark of Round 2.
I recently expressed the sentiment that Nogueira—while still a solid heavyweight—is not at the top of the division. Against Herman though, he looked like he was. The performance, however, is an indicator more of Herman's level than Nogueira's.
Taking nothing away from the elder Brazilian, Herman made himself a sitting duck all night. He also made it clear that he's not good enough to be a UFC contender.
While we'll have to wait and see whether the UFC keeps him around for one last chance, there's no need to tarry on declaring him a fringe UFC fighter.
Sure, he's encountered some tough UFC mainstays this year, but those are the guys that define the promotion, and clearly, Herman is not of the same caliber.
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