UFC 136 was a crazy event for heavyweight Dave Herman and he didn’t even fight on the show.
Technically, Herman was scheduled to fight on the show, but a pre-fight drug test ordered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation revealed a positive result for marijuana.
Herman was removed from the card and his fight with Mike Russow was yanked altogether.
“Maybe a month out, I got an email from the commission that said I had to get a drug test, and then went and took it. Like another week later, the results came in and they just said you’re pulled. I was surprised,” Herman told MMAWeekly Radio.
While he never denies the fact that he’s used marijuana years before, Herman says he absolutely did not use anything leading up to his fight. As a matter of fact, it had been quite some time since Herman had done anything marijuana related.
“I mean, I have before in college, but I don’t (now). I never liked it,” Herman explained.
Since that time, Herman has been retested by the commission and given a clean bill to resume his career. He’s now scheduled to face Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel 1 in February.
Herman has pretty much put the situation to bed in his own mind, and he’s not even really worried about vindicating himself from the previous claims because he just wants to move on with his career at this point.
“Honestly, I don’t even worry about it. It was a missed opportunity, but all you can really do is move forward,” said Herman.
The hardest part for him beyond missing a paycheck was the lost chance to fight when he believed he was in the best shape of his life. For his past couple of fight camps, Herman has been training exclusively at Team Quest in Temecula, Calif., alongside former Strikeforce and Pride champion Dan Henderson.
At one time in his career, Herman was literally self-trained. It wasn’t until he suffered his first defeat in MMA that he finally decided to learn something about MMA. Now with a lot more knowledge on his side, Herman was ready to go 2-0 in the UFC back in October. That was the hardest part about the situation, not the claims that he had done drugs before the fight.
“The worst part was I was training really hard and I felt probably the best shape I’ve ever felt for a fight, and I was just ready to go. Then they’re like, no you’re not going. That was probably the worst part,” Herman commented.
The additional time off did allow Herman to continue his growth into a full-fledged mixed martial artist. With a 21-2 record, Herman has done well for himself, even though he admittedly didn’t know that much about MMA in his early days.
Now he’s picking up some new tricks and he’s planning on introducing them to Stefan Struve in February.
“I plan on being in great shape for this next one. That’s what I did as soon as it got pulled cause I was already in shape, so I had to take advantage of it and use that to work on technique and stuff,” Herman said.
In the past, he has been known for his tremendous punching power and striking skills. Now with the added time off to learn a little bit more about the ground game, is Herman ready to start throwing a flying gogoplata into his arsenal?
“Pretty much, yeah,” he joked.
Herman faces Stefan Struve at the UFC on Fuel 1 show from Omaha, Neb., on Feb. 15.