Dave "Pee Wee" Herman said he was "surprised" to learn he'd failed a pre-licensing drug test before his scheduled UFC 136 bout with Mike Russow, and while he insists he never ingested any banned substances, he's readying himself for a suspension just the same.
Herman said he was informed on Wednesday that he'd been denied a license by the Texas commission due to a failed drug test for marijuana, though a second test for steroids came up clean, he said.
"I do not smoke marijuana," Herman told MMA Fighting. "I can't say I'm not around it. I live in California. Pretty much everyone out here smokes weed. Maybe I need to pick my friends a little better. I don't know."
When asked if it was his belief that simply being in the presence of marijuana smoke might have caused the positive test result, Herman replied, "Like I said, I see people smoking weed every day."
Susan Stanford, of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, told MMA Fighting that medical privacy laws prevented her from disclosing any information about Herman's drug test results, but confirmed that "he was denied a license."
Herman initially told Clinch Gear Radio that he'd been asked to take a second drug test after the lab where he was tested told him that it had lost his first sample. Stanford explained that the testing is done entirely through private labs, and the commission never has possession of the sample, but would have likely been informed if a sample had been lost.
On Thursday, Herman told MMA Fighting that the lab had asked him to submit two separate samples so that it could test one for drugs of abuse and another for steroids.
"When I talked to Texas they said that there wasn't enough of the first sample to do both tests," said Herman. "The first sample they just tested one thing and the second sample they tested something else. ...They just said the first one was positive for marijuana. The second one wasn't positive for anything."
What surprised Herman most, he said, was when he read internet reports that claimed he had tested positive for both marijuana and steroids.
"It got worse and worse. The first article I clicked on just quoted me from my interview and it looked pretty much right. The second one was like, '[Herman] denies use of steroids.' Then the third one was like, positive for marijuana and steroids. I'm like, how did you jump from that to that to that?"
The UFC's Marc Ratner said he had no information as of yet, and hadn't seen anything on paper regarding Herman's tests or what possible repercussions he might be facing.
For his part, Herman is expecting to be suspended on top of losing his chance to fight Russow in Houston on October 8.
"I don't think there's anything I can really do," he said. "Obviously, this fight's already gone. Even if I go in today and pass everything, this fight's already done. Pretty much I guess I just wait. They said I'll probably have a short suspension. From researching other guys who have tested positive, the max suspension they've ever seen is 30 days. So I guess I wait 30 days and pass a drug test and try to get another fight lined up."
In the meantime, Herman said he's struggling to get over the disappointment of spending weeks preparing for the fight only to see the opportunity disappear and get replaced with the threat of disciplinary action.
"I was feeling good, was in really great shape," he said. "I didn't really want to get up and go to practice this morning, but I did anyway. I guess I just have a little extra time to hone everything and get better."