La Pulga – The Flea

“La Pulga”

“The Flea”

In Memory of

 UFC and BKFC Veteran Geane Herrera

By Florida Night Train©


It was about 7 p.m., Sunday, May 5, 2024, on Gandy bridge. Heading eastbound between St. Petersburg Fl. and Tampa Bay Fl., I saw a brother stopped on the shoulder. By himself. Helmet on ground. Head looking down. His Ducati 1199 up. A helmet on the ground is the international rescue signal of the biker code123. If you observe a biker on the road with the helmet on the ground, you should stop and bring him help. All seemed okay, but something told me to stop. Named Orlando aka “Orly”, our conversation went as follows;

Me: “Are you okay, bro?”

Orly: Still looking at the ground and pointing at what looked like skid marks he said, “My buddy died right here on this spot last night.”

My heart sank. I was speechless. What to say in this situation? Flashbacks and memories of my tour in Baja Mexico when I found my best friend on the ground…lifeless. My mind was all over and my heart was racing.  

Me: “I’m so sorry, bro. Do you need anything? How long have you been here? What happened?”

Orly: “I’m okay, thanks. I [sic] been here for three hours now. Looks like he tried to pass someone and it did not go as planned.”

As I looked down observing the skid marks leading to what seemed to be one of the points of impact on the concrete barrier, it became clear this was a bad one. Are there ever any “good” ones? From that point, the skid marks continued showing the likely mangled bike’s trajectory to the other side about 40 yards away. At the end was a large pitch-dark black spot on the road. I suspect by all indications and as reported, this Kawasaki ZX14 went up in flames.

Orly: Looking back at me says, “We just never know do we? And we just keep doing it.”

Me: “Yeah man, I can’t stop. I just can’t. It’s my oasis. Do you want to head out, bro, and clear your mind?”

Orly: “Nah. Thanks, man.”

That’s when I knew the man needed alone time on top of the three hours he had already spent there. We exchanged numbers and agreed to ride together one day.

I don’t know about you, but these types of circumstances always trigger deep reflection within me. If I am honest, much “needed” reflection too! Needless to say, the ride to my next favorite stop—the Epicurean Lounge in Tampa—was pretty defensive. As I reflected, still unaware of the rider’s identity, I concluded this rider must have been one solid guy. He had to be. Prompting a loyal friend to pay his respects by standing for three hours in the spot he died certainly points in that direction. If I live my life and a few good souls pay respects like that for me, I think I will have lived right. I still got some work to do. Don’t we all?

As it turns out, I found through my exchange with Orly, the rider who passed that Saturday night was American mixed martial artist Geane Herrera aka “La Pulga” (The Flea). It has been reported that Geane Carlos Herrera, May 27, 1990 – May 18, 2024 was an American mixed martial artist who competed in the Flyweight division. He is probably best known for his stint in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Herrera made his professional mixed martial arts debut in March 2011. He competed primarily for regional organizations in the Southeastern United States where he amassed an undefeated record of 8–0, before signing with the UFC on the heels of a first round finish of Josh Rave in July 2014.

Herrera made his promotional debut against Ray Borg on August 8, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 73. He lost the fight by unanimous decision. Herrera was tabbed as a short notice replacement to face Joby Sanchez on December 11, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, where he filled in for Justin Scoggins. After a back-and-forth two rounds, Herrera earned a TKO finish in the final minute of the second round. Herrera next faced Ali Bagautinov on June 18, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 89. He lost the fight via unanimous decision. Herrera faced Ben Nguyen on November 27, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 101. He lost the fight via unanimous decision and was subsequently released from the UFC.

A fighter spirit never ever gives up. Over a year removed from his release, Herrera would go on to face Darren Mima at ACB 85 on April 21, 2018. He won the fight via first-round submission. In 2019, Herrera participated in BKFC tryouts and received a contract to the organization. He was scheduled to make his debut against Abdiel Velazquez at BKFC 8 on October 19, 2019. However, the bout did not materialize due to an unknown reason. Herrera eventually made his debut on July 23, 2021, at BKFC 19. He faced Abdiel Velazquez and won the fight via TKO in the second round.

Orly tells me he trained with Geane, knew him for about 10 years and helped buy a mini bike for Geane’s son. “Geane was all in at all times, no holding back in life. He loved life full force. We loved riding together. We helped each other be safe. We had this bond which we felt free to give each other warnings to ride safer.”  That, my good friends, is true authentic brotherhood (sisterhood); the kind of bond we should all aim for in our friendships.

This is not about “policing” each other or nagging. It’s about looking out for each other. If someone gives you a tip you need to see it for what it is, “good intentions”, and welcome it regardless. If you can’t understand that or if you are the type who is unteachable, un-coachable then you will likely finish like a stat.

This encounter caused me to reflect carefully about my riding. I reconsidered areas of improvement. It also triggered hard convos with dear brothers who I love riding with as well; “I say this to you because you matter to me brother. I want to ride for years to come with you and share some good laughs. I don’t want to stand on a curb for three hours because I lost you buddy. Not one of us wants to.”  

If you ride and you read this, please take heed. I am certain, both Geane as well as Orly would throw a few punches at anyone today talking cocky and lightly about riding safely. Herrera leaves behind a 16-year-old son, 3 months pregnant girlfriend, his parents, and siblings. Herrera was a proud Colombian-American. His family has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral expenses; Fundraiser by Melisa Herrera : Support Geane’s Family in Their Time of Grief (  So far about $25,000.00 has been raised.

God speed.

Source: Internet, Orlando (Orly).

© Photos online and partly by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images, BKFC IG, Orly.

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