Inside Fights Interview: Dave “Pee Wee” Herman

Between December of 2006 and November of 2008, Dave “Pee Wee” Herman had gained victories in all of his bouts. On the fourth day of 2009, Herman finally felt the agony of defeat, and it changed him for the better.

While Herman continued to win fight after fight, leading to a remarkable 13 fight winning streak, his preparation was not at the level necessary to continue his climb in mixed martial arts.

Four months after his first taste of defeat, Herman stormed through Josh Barnes to a TKO victory at Bellator Fighting Championships 4. Perhaps a new and lengthy winning streak was about to begin.

Yet with another victory, Herman has gained attention in the fighting community, along with gaining stiffer competition for future fights.

The second part of a possible winning streak begins with a man with over a decade’s worth of experience. At 43, Don Frye has undoubtedly seen it all in the sport.

At almost 20 years younger than Frye, Herman still has a lot to prove, as the two men are set to meet at Shark Fights 6, taking place on Sept. 12.

Serving as the main event of the evening, Frye vs. Herman will undoubtedly give the judges a break, as neither man is fond of going to a decision. Fyre has gone to the scorecards four times throughout his career. Herman has not gone once.

A knockout is in order for this fight, and it will cap off the evening with a bang, as Shark Fights presents its sixth event.

For Frye, it is a night to prove that his age cannot hold him back, as he looks to continue his legacy.

For Herman, it is a night to begin his own legacy. Through better training, a new camp, and the undying will to succeed, Herman plans to do just that.

Dave Herman sat down for an interview discussing his latest fight and all things MMA. The interview transcript is available below, detailing his thoughts on Don Frye, what he wants his new nickname to be, and what he thinks Kimbo Slice’s chances are on “The Ultimate Fighter”.

Nate Lawson: Well I’ll begin with your next fight, which is at Shark Fights where you will be fighting Don Frye. What is it like to fight a guy like Frye, who has been fighting professionally since 1996?

Dave Herman: I’m pretty excited about it. He definitely has a lot of experience and he’s been fighting a while. I don’t really know what it’s like yet. I’ll know a little better probably on Sunday.

Nate Lawson: How has the training for this fight been compared to your previous fight, considering Frye is quite notable figure in mixed martial arts?

Dave Herman: Well, I switched my training a little. Just, you know, trying different things out. See what works best for me, but training wise I really didn’t do anything different just for this fight. It was kind of, in general, it didn’t matter who I would be fighting.

Nate Lawson: Frye is almost 20 years older than you. Do you see this as a disadvantage because of his experience, or an advantage due to your youth?

Dave Herman: Man, I mean it’s both. He definitely has more experience, but I’ve got youth on my side, so it’s kind of a split.

Nate Lawson: You have never once went to a decision, and Frye as only gone to a decision like four times. And you have only entered the third round once, and it was pretty quick. I am sure in your eyes the judges can take the night off for your fight, but how do you see yourself winning this fight in specific?

Dave Herman: I am more than happy to win any way he will let me, but I don’t see it going to a decision either.

Nate Lawson: Many fighters say that you learn much more from a loss than from a win. What did you learn after your second round defeat to Choi Mu Bae? How did that loss benefit you? What was the good you found?

Dave Herman: Well, once it happened, I actually moved to Nashville and I am now training at Nashville MMA. Prior to that I was not really training, just kind of exercising and working out at my house.

Nate Lawson: You are undoubtedly looking to launch another impressive winning streak. Aside from that, what are your goals for the rest of 2009, besides beating Don Frye?

Dave Herman: Well, I would really like to fight in Japan again on Sengoku if I can. Or they can book really another fight anywhere. I’m open to anything.

Nate Lawson: A common outlook on fighting is taking your career one fight at a time, but what long term goals, as far as organizations or championships, do you have? Have you thought about that a lot or are you just focusing fight to fight?

Dave Herman: I mostly focus fight to fight. Organizations or what not. Ill probably happy no matter where I end up, so long as I am getting fights.

Nate Lawson: You fight in a weight class that features some of the biggest names in the sport, including Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar. When do you see your name being a part of that list? How much longer until you believe your name reaches that status.

Dave Herman: I have no idea. Probably to get there I would have to beat one of those guys, so we’ll see if that ever happens.

Nate Lawson: Are there any specific fighters you would like to face at some point in your career? Any names?

Dave Herman: Not really. You know, I’m open for anything, anybody. It’s pretty much whatever opportunity I am offered, I plan on taking full advantage of it.

Nate Lawson: Your nickname is Pee Wee, yet that is hardly fitting as many of your opponents will attest to. How did that nickname come about? 

Dave Herman: I actually didn’t want to have a nickname, and people were throwing out some that I was not that big of a fan of. And I was like, “Think of a stupid nickname? How about Pee Wee.” I probably should have kept my mouth shut because that’s what it is now.
Nate Lawson: And it stuck. You ever think about changing it?

Dave Herman: Yeah, to the Blueberry Muffin.

Nate Lawson: Why the Blueberry Muffin?

Dave Herman: Because I love blueberry muffins.

Nate Lawson: The Ultimate Fighter 10 is set to air next week. What are your thoughts on “The Ultimate Fighter” as a show, and what about a fellow former Elite XC heavyweight in Kimbo Slice?

Dave Herman: I mean, “The Ultimate Fighter” as a show. I think it has done a lot to the sport, especially at the beginning. It seems like a lot of the later shows are less about talent and more about what’s going to get people to watch the show, but that’s TV.

Kimbo, I was never really that impressed with him. I met him in Florida, and he’s a good bare-knuckle boxer. But in MMA? Not so much.

Nate Lawson: How do you think he is going to do on the show against some big guys that really mean business?

Dave Herman: He might win a fight or two, but there’s no way he will ever win the show.

Nate Lawson: Did you ever think about at some point in your career being involved in “The Ultimate Fighter”?

Dave Herman: Right at the very beginning, yes. But at this point, no.

Nate Lawson: That about wraps it up. Anything you want to add? Anyone you want to thank?

Dave Herman: I would like to thank my manager Mike Camp and F1 Management. I would also like to thank the gym here in Nashville, Ed Clay’s Nashville MMA, for having me down and letting me be a part of it.

Nate Lawson: Thanks for your time and I wish you the best of luck.

Dave Herman: Thank you.

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