Sengoku spotlight: Dave “Pee Wee” Herman – exclusive interview

Dave "Pee Wee" Herman takes on "Big" Jim York at Sengoku 11.
Dave "Pee Wee" Herman takes on "Big" Jim York at Sengoku 11.

Sengoku: Eleventh Battle takes place at Ryogoku Kokugikan, in Tokyo, Japan on Nov. 7 and will air live on HDNet beginning at 2 a.m. ET early Saturday morning. Among those fighting on the card is heavyweight Dave “Pee Wee” Herman (15-1) taking on “Big” Jim York (11-3).

It will be Dave’s second fight in Japan and his second fight inside the Sengoku ring. Things did not go so well for Dave in his last Sengoku appearance when he fought Mu Bae Choi (9-4). In fact, the fight against Choi is the lone loss on Dave’s MMA record.

However, it was also the fight that caused him to really get serious about his professional career. It was the fight that caused him to seek out professional training and finally brought him to Nashville MMA in Tennessee under the tutelage of Ed Clay.

Dave immediately got back to his knockout ways and won his next two fights, against Josh Barnes (4-4) in May, and then against MMA legend Don Frye (20-8-1) in September. Dave hopes to continue his win streak against “Big” Jim York on Saturday and spoke to about his training camp, his opponent, a possible future in the UFC, and more.

PROMMA.INFO: How you doing Dave? How are you feeling in these final few days leading up to the fight?
DAVE HERMAN: I feel good. I’m ready to fight.

It took Dave exactly one minute to knock out Don Frye at Shark Fights 6.

PROMMA.INFO: Are you experiencing any jet lag right now? Does that have much of an effect on you, if so how long does it take to get over that?
DAVE HERMAN: Yes I am experiencing jet lag. Hopefully I’ll be over it before Saturday gets here. I got here early so I could get used to it.

PROMMA.INFO: Where are you working out training right now while in Japan?
DAVE HERMAN: The hotel has an area for us to work out. The first day I was here I went to Golds gym.

PROMMA.INFO: What have you been doing since you got to Japan and what will take place these next couple of days before the bout?
DAVE HERMAN: Just trying to get adjusted hangin’ out at the hotel. I haven’t really been out too much. Just trying to focus on the fight and work out some technical things the last few days.

PROMMA.INFO: Talk to us about your training camp for this fight. We posted and
followed your blogs at and it looked like you got some good time in at Alliance Training Center. How was that experience, getting to train with Brandon Vera and the instruction from Lloyd Irvin?
DAVE HERMAN: It was good to train with a high caliber fighter like Brandon and Lloyd
seemed cool and his instruction was good.

Dave fits in perfectly in Nashville with his mullet.
Dave fits in perfectly in Nashville with his mullet.

PROMMA.INFO: Last time we spoke I believe you told us you were about to make the permanent move to Nashville. Are you all settled in there now in Nashville, and how do you like the city? How’s Ed treating you?
DAVE HERMAN: Yeah I’m settled in. I like Nashville and it’s a fun place. I enjoy
training with Ed. He’s the only person that can put up with my shit.

PROMMA.INFO: Tell me about his guy Jim York. What do you know about him and what type of fighter is he?
DAVE HERMAN: I just met him downstairs and he seemed really nice. He seems to have pretty good stand up. I haven’t seen a whole lot of him on the ground. He’s a big guy so I better keep my hands up…

PROMMA.INFO: How do you see yourself matching up with York and what can the fans expect to see this weekend when you two big guys get in there?
DAVE HERMAN: I think it’s a good match up. I really wanna kick him in the head. I’ve
been focusing a lot on my stand up. I’ve just got to keep moving and keep my hands up and chin down.

Dave and his coach Ed Clay chillin.
Dave and his coach Ed Clay chillin.

PROMMA.INFO: Now, you are still under contract with Bellator right? Is there any
word yet on when, who, or where your first fight of this next season will be?
DAVE HERMAN: Things are kind of up in the air with Bellator. They’ve pushed the cards back a number of times and my agreement with them was that I’d fight twice for them by November. The guy who signed me with them no longer works for them so their expectations of what our agreement is and my expectation are different. They get upset with me but I’ve done everything that I agreed to do. Now they’ve pushed the date back again so I don’t know. I’d like to fight for them but I don’t know at this point.

PROMMA.INFO: A lot more people are starting to take notice of the name Dave Herman and fans are saying it’s just a matter of time before we see you in the UFC. Is that a goal for you, do you want to eventually fight in the UFC? If so, how long do you think it will be before fans see you in the Octagon or is that not something you think about, and it will happen when it’s supposed to?
DAVE HERMAN: I’m not in any rush. I would love to fight in the UFC one day but I make good money in Japan and it’s probably more than the UFC would pay me right now. Plus I just really started training in February and need time to learn more and get my technique up. I competed in the Pan Ams in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu this year, I’m doing Muay Thai and boxing everyday. I just want to get better. When I go to the UFC I’d like to go ready to fight for the title. There’s some bad match ups right now for me though and I need to strengthen those weak areas before I fight those guys. That said, a guy like Brock Lesnar I wouldn’t mind fighting right now. He actually matches up good for me.

Dave has some interesting hobbies when not fighting and training.

PROMMA.INFO: So you think you could beat Brock?
DAVE HERMAN: Well, I think it’s a good match up and I would have as good of chance as any to beat him. His training partner Cole Conrad was a two or three time national champion wrestler from Minnesota. I lost to him in college the first time we wrestled 3-1 and he’s probably a better wrestler than Brock so his takedowns won’t be as big of a problem as one would think. They’re
both really big which is part of what made them so good. I’m about 242 lbs. right now and I plan on gaining about 15 pounds which will make me about 257 lbs. I know Ed has a good gameplan for that fight and if I execute it I’d have a good chance of winning.

PROMMA.INFO: Thank you Dave for taking time to speak with us. wants to > wish you the best of luck this weekend in your fight. Is there any sponsors you want to thank or any shout-outs?
DAVE HERMAN: Full Tilt Poker, No Gi, Performance Builders, Ed Clay’s Nashville MMA,
Gameness, and F1 Management.

By: Jack Bratcher

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