Mixed Martial Arts is a pretty intense sport and it requires pretty intense people to participate in it. When asked why they fight, a lot of guys will talk about pride and glory, or give you some story about how fighting is their way out. Not Dave Kaplan. He fights to pick up chicks.
"I don't do it because there's honor in it or even because I enjoy it. I do it, because it affords me the opportunity to wake up at 2 p.m. and live a certain lifestyle that a lot of people would like to live. And the stigma of being a fighter helps in other areas, like with chicks and partying, which is what I really like to do."
Not to be taken out of context, that doesn't mean he doesn't care about fighting. It just means he has different objectives. "I'm thinking to myself while I'm walking into the cage, ‘In three months, you're going to be sitting at some bar next to some hot chick, watching yourself. What do you want to see yourself do?'"
He actually seems to take his fighting very seriously. I guess when it's your outlet to grabbing some tail on the weekends, you have to be serious about it. But seriously, he spent seven months in Holland just to learn Thai Boxing and now he's splitting his training time between Extreme Couture and Striking Unlimited with Frank Mir. That's serious.
In fact, he still considers himself a world-class fighter and despite his shocking loss to Nover, is more than confident in his own skill set.
"I still think a certain way about myself. If we fought again, it wouldn't go the same way by any means."
He was careful not to pass off any blame to other people, but he did point out that when folks constantly talk about you in a certain way, it's very easy to get caught up in the hype. It's true, though and you can't fault the kid for that. I mean, my mom was always telling me how special I am and damn it, I believed her. So you could imagine my surprise when I found out that I really wasn't the Italian version of Brad Pitt and my championship ring from the third grade spelling bee is not a great way to meet girls. It was a tough reality to grasp, but after a while I was able gain my bearings, and now I'm much better for it.
The point is that Kaplan always has been -and remains- highly confident in himself, but this fight was a reality check for him and he, too, will be better for it.
Keep up the hard work and Kaplan just might find himself sitting at some bar one day, saying to the Old Dominion Homecoming Queen, "Hey, you see that guy on TV holding that belt? That's me."
If not, he can always rely on winning bar bets. "What's the capital of Malaysia", I asked him.
Now check out our sweet exclusive footage from this episode.