Exclusive: Dave Herman – The UFC’s Most Eccentric Heavyweight?
When a 6-foot-5, 235-pounder comes out to the scale at weigh-ins before his fight, sporting a bright pink scarf, it’s going to turn heads. And when Dave Herman did that at the UFC on FUEL TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger weigh-ins, it wasn’t just the fans that were caught off-guard. Count UFC President Dana White amongst those who were dumbfounded.
“I like Dave Herman,” said White afterwards. “The stuff he pulled this week? I can’t stand that stuff. Listen, if you want to get noticed…get noticed for your fighting skills. Not for coming in like a gorilla or wearing pink scarves. And coming in to ‘Macho Man?’ As I was sitting there, I’m thinking, ‘Did I seriously let him come into this song?’”
Herman losing his co-main event bout to Stefan Struve via TKO certainly didn’t help matters. I recently spoke with the big heavyweight to get his thoughts on the scarf, his inordinate amount of body hair, and his future.
Phil Lanides: You were issued a 30-day medical suspension after the fight. This is usually pretty routine for TKO losses. Was this just precautionary? How are you doing physically?
Dave Herman: I didn’t even know about that, honestly, until you just brought it up. No injuries, though. My eye was a little sore for a few days, but I’m alright.
PL: Your fight with Struve has been deemed a “come-from-behind” victory for him by the media. There’s no question that you had things going your way in the first round. What do you feel happened?
DH: I was still fine when they stopped it. But it happened…maybe not quick enough for some people, I guess. I probably should have been out at that point. But it kind of let me know what I need to work on. So, yeah, in some aspects I did well, and in some others, it let me know what I need to work on.
PL: Are you aware of some of the things UFC President Dana White said about you after the fight?
DH: No, I’m not.
PL: White apparently didn’t like the pink scarf you sported at the weigh-ins, saying you looked like a “gorilla in a scarf.” He also didn’t like that you came out to the cage accompanied by “Macho Man.” Do you take that as a lack of support from Dana? What is your reaction to that?
DH: Once again, I’m hearing this for the first time. But I can see where he’s coming from. Like in interviews, half the fighters try to be funny, but we’re here to fight, not to be funny. But at the same time, I like to be funny (laughs). It happens…but obviously it won’t happen again.
PL: You did seem to have a little more body hair than usual…was that planned?
DH: I actually left my charger at a friend’s house back in November, and I just never got around to getting another one. And I was thinking it was pretty funny, so I thought, ‘Let’s just go with it.’ I’ve had a lot of mixed responses to it, but overall, pretty positive. Most people just thought it was funny. My favorite part was at the weigh-ins, actually. I had a buddy there with me, and I told him to record the ring girls’ faces when I take off my shirt and they look at my back. They were like, ‘don’t look, don’t look.’ So it was pretty funny.
PL: Tell us the story behind the scarf.
DH: I made it the night before the weigh-ins, actually. Almost didn’t get it done in time…had to stay up late to finish it. I was going to Nebraska, it was going to be cold, so I thought I’d made a scarf.
PL: So, as far as the scarf, and “Macho Man,” and the body hair, it wasn’t really planned out?
DH: Yeah. The scarf was kind of a last-minute thing, and the body hair…that ended up being planned. I actually wanted to come out to the same song I did last time, which was ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,’ which they wouldn’t let me come out to.
PL: They wouldn’t let you come out to that?
PL: Did you get an explanation as to why?
DH: I don’t know. They may have. My manager just told me they wouldn’t let me come out to that song. I actually came up with a few songs, like ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’ and they said that was even worse (laughs).
PL: After dealing with the marijuana suspension, which you publicly stated that you hadn’t partaken in, and now this loss coupled with Dana’s thoughts on your approach to the fight, are these just more obstacles to overcome? Are you more motivated for your next fight?
DH: The loss motivates me quite a bit for my next fight, and like I said, it lets me know what I need to work on.
PL: At 21-3, you still sport one of the most impressive records in the heavyweight division. What’s next for Dave Herman?
DH: I haven’t heard anything yet…just waiting to hear. The sooner the better.