Dave Kaplan has developed quite the persona in the mixed martial arts world. Self-anointed "Diamond", Kaplan allowed himself to get knocked out by a light heavyweight while boozing in The Ultimate Fighter 8 house and got KO'd by the eventual champ Phillipe Nover (36:43 mark - VIDEO). He's also set the standard for cage entrances to awful 80's songs. During the TUF 8 Finale, Kaplan entered to the soothing sounds of General Public's "Tenderness." He topped that during UFC 98 by coming in as Mad Max with Tina Turner's "We don't need another hero."
"A lot of people think that's the only good thing I'm known for. Hey I'd like to be known for something good," chuckled Kaplan. "I did an interview the other day, before the fight, and the guy said 'does it bother you that all people are going to be there to see you get beat up?' And I said 'I'm sorry I didn't hear anything you said after all the people are there to want to see you.'
Kaplan said he's gotten a rash of nasty emails and it would be tough to find more than five-percent positive feedback. He is working hard to become a better fighter, now at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. It was tough in the days after the fight. A tactical error on fight night left Kaplan bloodied and bruised. It wasn't from George Roop. He blew it during the postfight partying, wearing the same boots that he wore to the cage without socks. The blisters were horrendous.
Kaplan could be headed to the WEC next but it won't be at the weight I suggested, 145 pounds, after the Roop loss.
"Are you out of your mind? I could hardly make 155," said Kaplan as he chastised Cagewriter. "The day of the weigh-ins I was still six over." Kaplan is only 5-foot-6 but said his body fat at 160 is only 5.5-percent. During his college wrestling days at Old Dominion, he was actually told for safety reasons that he wouldn't be allowed to wrestle below 152. He'd be a nice addition to WEC's 155 class. He did admit that he needs to add some more head movement to his game and a little more killer instinct when he gets someone down in his next fight.
- Dave Kaplan