What a difference a month makes. Last month Dave Herman and Bellator were locked in a vicious battle, the promising young heavyweight’s career mired in legal limbo. Thursday he’s fighting Polish star Michal Kita in that very same Bellator promotion. Not only that, but Herman isn’t averse to fighting for the Bjorn Rebney fronted promotion again in the future.
“After this fight I should be free. I wouldn’t mind fighting for Bellator again after this on a single bout basis if they want me back. Any time a fight opportunity comes up, I’d like to take advantage of it. Hopefully this won’t be my last fight for Bellator,” the fighter ironically nicknamed “Pee Wee said. “…I don’t really hold a grudge. Once everything is worked out I’m happy. They’re happy. Hopefully everything will be good.”
Herman was originally signed to compete in the Bellator heavyweight tournament which is ongoing.
“I actually haven’t seen any of it,” Herman admits. “I don’t really watch MMA all that often. And I haven’t had TV at my house in over two years…I like to watch my friends when they fight. But when I don’t personally know the guy fighting it’s just not interesting.”
Herman’s return didn’t allow for a tournament appearance, one he obviously wouldn’t have been DVR’ing, but he was scheduled to fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez, an exciting opportunity to vanquish his second UFC champ (Herman ethered Don Frye last year, his last bout on U.S. soil). Instead, Rodriguez dropped out of the bout with an injury. Enter Kita, a M-1 veteran making his Bellator debut. Herman was up front about his lack of knowledge regarding the Polish fighter who lost an opportunity at the ongoing Bellator heavyweight tournament when he was stopped by Damian Grabowski in June. With Pee Wee, the opponent is almost incidental. No matter who is across the cage, he’s looking to finish the fight.
“When I first started I pretty much just had one speed and it was ‘Go!’ I was pretty much doing that until the fight was over, whether it be me or the other guy. Just basically go until it’s done. A lot of that is partially responsible for some losses. It’s also responsible for a lot of first round wins,” Herman said. Twenty-one fights and almost four years into his career, Herman is looking to take a more disciplined approach. “I’d like to think I’m getting better and changing for the better. But at the same time, once you’re in there, everything kind of hits the fan and you just go.”
Herman took this fight on short notice, but he’s notorious for his lack of training, even before the biggest bouts.
“I’ve never had a full camp,” Herman revealed. “Like my fight in Abu Dhabi (a disqualification loss against Rameau Sokoudjou) I took on two weeks notice. It was actually a drinking holiday where I went to college and I went back to visit some old friends. I had a great weekend and on Monday they said ‘Hey, you’re fighting in two weeks.’ Even so, I made it and was ready to go. I think I was just lucky on the opponent because he was in worse shape than me for sure. If it was somebody that worked a little harder things might have been different….I think the longest training camp I’ve had was maybe four weeks.”
Herman and Kita will fight on the undercard, supporting a card stacked with some of the best female mixed martial artists in the world. You can listen to the complete Herman interview tomorrow on our podcast Ring Psychology. Join us at Bloodyelbow.com for Bellator 31 – Thursday, Sept. 30th, live on Fox Sports Net at 8:00 PM EST.
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