Dave Herman isn't your typical fighter.
While most athletes will talk about the rigors of training, the respect they have for all their opponents and how important everything is to them, "Pee-Wee" would rather talk about peanut butter and jelly waffles or his favorite beer.
Herman wasn't originally scheduled to be a part of this weekend's huge heavyweight event, but he was called on to replace an injured Gabriel Gonzaga and the Team Quest combatant gleefully stepped up to the challenge.
Now, on just three weeks' notice, "Pee-Wee" will be taking on The Ultimate Fighter season 10 winner Roy Nelson this Saturday night (May 26, 2012) on the UFC 146 main card in Las Vegas.
Herman spoke with MMAmania.com during a special guest appearance on The Verbal Submission and he talked about fighting someone he respects, the potential benefits of a short notice fight for him and his dreams of a Las Vegas afterparty in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It's gotta be nice not having to be in a plane all day like a lot of these other guys since you're based out of Temecula which is pretty close to Las Vegas, right?
Dave Herman: Oh yeah, it's only about an hour flight and then I think I'm already planning on skipping my flight back and just hanging out with some friends so I can stay a little longer.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What would be a typical Dave Herman post-fight celebration?
Dave Herman: I don't know. I've never had a fight in Vegas before. I'm excited about it and hopefully it's a good time.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You weren't originally scheduled to be on this card but you stepped up with just the most ridiculous amount of changes of any main card in MMA history happened. The whole card was completely discombobulated but you called on to step up and take this fight. What was the process like of them getting ahold of you and getting you onto this main card?
Dave Herman: Well my manager called me and asked me, "Are you in shape," and naturally I lied to him and said, "Yes," and that was it. "Fight in three weeks? I'm in!"
Dave Herman: Well, there's always something wrong. It's one thing after another usually but there's no excuses. My first fight against Jon Olaf Einemo I was injured too.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What was the motivation behind dying everything dark black, the black beard and all that stuff?
Dave Herman: I just thought it was funny. Some people agreed, some people not so much.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Well one of those people who didn't agree was Dana White. He wasn't very happy about it and he mentioned it to the media. Did he say anything to you about it?
Dave Herman: Not to me personally but I heard about it.... My bad.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Am I wrong in assuming you're not going to do that again or are you just going to do it again to spite him?
Dave Herman: Ummm no. Well it's summertime now and it's pretty hot in the desert so I don't need a perma-sweater on all summer so if it does ever happen again, it's gonna be in the wintertime. Maybe in my last fight, my retirement fight, I'll bust it out again in like three or four years.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Your opponent, Roy Nelson, he's got a lot of name value in the UFC so tell me what it's like going in there against a guy with so much experience in MMA?
Dave Herman: Yeah, he's fought pretty much everybody and I don't think he's ever been knocked out has he?
Dave Herman: Yeah, he's a super tough guy and always goes the distance, always keeps coming and goes in there swinging, ready to bang which I have a tendency to want to do it too. It helps when the other person wants to do it because I can be like, "Oh, alright." Hopefully we'll have a really exciting fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I know you're a guy that loves to stand and brawl. Was it frustrating against Struve? He was much more tentative on the outside working his range attacks against you.
Dave Herman: Yeah, it makes sense I guess and good job Stefan. He came out with a win but it's more fun to fight, you know? I'm trying to have a good time over here.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Roy Nelson, on top of being a guy who likes to stand and bang with people, he's got a similar sense of humor as you. Both dry, sometimes people don't understand it. Are you planning anything kind of goofy with him?
Dave Herman: No, not really. I have a buddy who tried to suck up a little. He was like, "Oh Roy Nelson, you're gonna kill him!" and talking crap about him like nobody likes him but I love Roy! Every time Roy fights, I always root for him. I think he's great. I especially love the mullet, I wish I could grow one like that.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Why don't you? I'm sure you could.
Dave Herman: Well I'm balding so what I was thinking was give it 2-3 more years and then have a fully bald head into a mullet like Hulk Hogan I think. That's the only way I'm gonna be able to pull it off. Maybe even get a perm job on top so it'll be curly too.
Ben Thapa: After the Struve loss, what was your mindset getting back into the gym like?
Dave Herman: Well I started lifting again. I think I let Stefan "out-big" me, which may have been because he was bigger than me so that's not going to happen again.
Ben Thapa: What's your routine for a short notice fight? Are you just pretty much just stepping in there with confidence in your skills or are you trying to cram everything in?
Dave Herman: Well traditionally all my fights were short notice until I got in the UFC. Prior to that, the most notice I think I ever had for a fight was a month. I'd have four weeks, two weeks, some of them were one week. This time I had three weeks and I just kind of made it like a three month training camp but I turned the months into weeks. The first two months you just generally screw around and then the last month, you're like, "I should probably get in shape, I've got a fight coming up."
It was funny though because the day I got the phone call about the fight was the first day I really started to feel normal again.
Ben Thapa: When you say, "Feel normal again," what do you mean?
Dave Herman: Well I went to a college for a party week and I had a rough week. It took like 3-4 days until I was digesting food normally. My stomach wasn't processing food right. I think I drank too much. When I'm drinking, food makes me sick, so what are you going to do?
Gerry Rodriguez: Roy Nelson is undersized for the heavyweight division. There was kind of a rally for him to get to 205 and he was kind of leading it. Do you think that's where he'll find more success?
Dave Herman: I actually think he should just get as fat as possible, maybe not fat as possible but fatter, as big as possible and come in, having to cut to make 265 and just say, "Fuck it. This is me and if you don't like it, I'm gonna knock your ass out anyways." I think that would be probably where he had the most success. People just keep blasting him in the stomach and he's just like "What, you can keep hitting me in the belly all day. I can't feel a thing."
Gerry Rodriguez: What do you think of the Frank Mir vs. Junior dos Santos fight?
Dave Herman: Mir's really good, but I see dos Santos winning. I'm excited to see how that turns out because Mir's pretty good on his feet too. Has dos Santos ever been on the ground, I don't think I've ever seen a fight of his that went to the ground but that's been because no one can really get him there. I'd say dos Santos is gonna win for sure.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): One of the big stories this past weekend was the Jon Jones situation with the DUI. He was set to fight your teammate Dan Henderson so what was the reaction like for Dan and those guys down at Team Quest?
Dave Herman: I don't know. I haven't really been in or talked to anybody that much. Most of the news I don't hear about or if I do, I don't really talk to anybody about. With the whole DUI thing everywhere, it's getting a little bit ridiculous. Just with the punishment and yeah, you shouldn't drink and drive, but I don't think you should destroy anybody's live over, "I drank and drove," you know what I mean? Everybody makes mistakes. Even back in the day, they'd only destroy your life if you're poor. If you have enough money you can get out of it, but that's how everything works really
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've had a little bit of time to digest this fight against Roy Nelson. When you're thinking about victory against him, what do you see?
Dave Herman: Hrmm, what am I picturing? I don't know, a really good after-party? I feel like I haven't been to the really good ones in Vegas so I don't know which ones to picture.
Dave would like to thank Team Quest for his training, his sponsor Affliction. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveHermanMMA.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
Will Herman be able to overcome the short notice against Big Country on the big stage? Will his unusual training tactics pay off?
To listen to the complete audio of our interview with Dave Herman, click here (begins at the 31:00 mark).