The always-serious Dave “Pee Wee” Herman (21-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was all business today during open workouts and while discussing the biggest fight of his career, which comes against Roy Nelson (16-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) Saturday at UFC 146.
And by business, the boisterous UFC heavyweight discussed everything from his recent weight-cutting technique fueled by binge drinking on a college campus, a hair-shaving trip to Europe, and how less training actually means more when taking fights on short notice.
But first, the (semi-)serious stuff.
“Roy’s tough, and he always keeps coming,” Herman today told MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com) of their bout, which is part of Saturday’s UFC 146 pay-per-view main card at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. “Should be awesome. Anytime I hear he’s fighting, I always watch. I love the hair. Love the belly.
“I think he’s going the wrong way though, I’d like to see him get bigger.”
Always a fan favorite in his own right, Nelson repaid Herman’s compliment with one of his own.
“He’s a realistic threat,” Nelson said. “He’s the white version of Jon Jones, tall, lanky, unorthodox. You don’t know what you’re going to expect. At one time, he liked to party. So, you know, just like Jon Jones.”
Well if Herman’s weight-cutting technique is any indication, then Nelson might not be that far off base.
The 27-year-old said after suffering a TKO loss to Stefan Struve back in February, he went to his alma mater, Indiana University, for the annual April festivities known as the Little 500 bicycle race — an homage to this weekend’s Indianapolis 500.
“I went back to college for a week; probably should not have done that,” Herman said. “Biggest party week at IU. Mostly a lot of drinking, about four hours of sleep a night.”
Herman, who has a penchant for blueberry muffins, said he actually doesn’t eat much when he drinks and thus lost 15 pounds during his campus return.
“Food makes me sick if I drink too much,” he said. “If I drank enough, I could (probably get down to light heavyweight), probably take three weeks. But I’m just hurting thinking about it. It took me three or four days before I could digest food properly.”
Prior to his weight-cutting, Herman took care of a little manscaping on a European vacation that likely will relieve Dana White. The UFC president was none too happy about the jet-black beard and body hair that Herman sported during weigh-ins against Struve.
“I think I shaved my back in Italy — well, my sister shaved it,” Herman said. “My chest in France. I shaved my beard in Germany, but I kept my ‘stache — but only like for an hour. I was getting a lot of weird looks. It was a little short (in the style of Adolf Hitler). So I got rid of that too.”
When he was informed that Gabriel Gonzaga was going to have to pull out of UFC 146 due to injury, Herman — no stranger to short-notice bouts — gladly accepted the bout against Nelson.
“Short-notice fights are my favorite,” he said. “My last two fights in the UFC are the only ones I’ve had more than a month notice for. Way too much (time). Too much of everything.
“I took the jiu-jitsu approach to training. You’re doing too much. Do less. I’ve been doing less. It feels great.”
Indeed Herman — who started out 15-0 in MMA and was on a three-fight win streak before his loss to Struve — compared short-notice fights to a popular holiday.
“It’s kind a like Christmas, a surprise Christmas,” he said. “‘Man this (training) sucks. Oh wait, Christmas is next week? (Would you want) a three-month wait for Christmas, or a three-week wait for Christmas? A lot of times less is more.”
When talk finally turned back around to his bout against Nelson, Herman promised he would do what only Andrei Arlovski has done before, and actually finish “Big Country.”
“I don’t know what those other guys problems were, but I’m going finish him,” he said.
For people who think Herman’s act is just a farce, he said, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, that he’s more dedicated than ever to MMA.
“I’ve been trying to take things more seriously,” he said. “I’m going to have to start working out or get in shape. Maybe both. I just had another loss. I tried to be a little more serious with training.”
And in his most honest response of the day, Herman admitted he doesn’t care what people think of him.
“I don’t really care,” he said. “I just like to have fun. It’s work. I’m eating good and having a good time.”