Geane Herrera is preparing for the biggest fight of his MMA career tonight when he takes on the #15 ranked Ben Nguyen at UFC Fight Night 101, but the custody battle for his son cost him money and even caused him to sleep in his car.
"I didn't even have a car," Herrera told MMA Fighting. "I had a motorcycle. But when my dad saw the situation I was in, he bought me a little Toyota. I had to sleep in it for about a week. It was very humbling — going from feeling like I'm finally doing things right to all of a sudden being at rock bottom."
While Herrera has stated many times that he doesn’t fight for the money, the situation with his son has changed his perspective a little bit.
"I don't do it for the money, but I have to get paid and I have to provide for my son," Herrera said. "It's already hard enough as it is. Money is also an objective in this. But the passion for the sport and the love for the sport is still in me. I'm happy every day I get to wake up and go to the gym and grow as a fighter."
Living in his car wasn’t the first time that Herrera didn’t have a palce to live in as he once slept in the gym where he trained at.
"Clearly, it paid off," Herrera said. "I made it to the UFC. But to see myself back at square one, it was just a blow to me ego, a blow to my spirit. But you know what? I rolled with the punches. I looked at every day as a blessing. I went out and got me a job at a grocery store, I got back up on my feet and just continued to move forward. It made me more hungry, if you ask me."
Whether or not Herrera has been battling for custody of his son or has been homeless, he believes that the experiences will make for a good book one day.
"It's been tough," Herrera said. "Very humbling. As a man, you don't want to walk around anywhere without a penny in your pocket. That's kind of the situation I'm going through. I'm swallowing my pride, I'm swallowing all this pain and at the end of the day I'm healthy, my son is healthy. That's all that matters to me. I always told myself, ‘This is just temporary.' This will either make a good movie one day or a good book."
UFC Fight Night 101 takes place tonight from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia with Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson headlining.