The quiet Hawaiian spoke to Bleacher Report recently on a variety of topics related to his upcoming fight against Chad Griggs at UFC 145 on April 21 in Atlanta.
"Hapa Howley" sheds light on topics like why he gassed in his last fight in September against Rob Broughton at UFC 135, how it would make him feel if Chad Griggs showed up clean-shaven and his love-hate relationship with the desert.
Here are some choice nuggets.
On His Long Layoff Since UFC 135 in Denver
"It's just a product of the heavyweight division being so light. It's kind of funny to say it like that, but there isn't a lot of heavyweights to fight out there.
"For Joe (Silva, UFC matchmaker) to make the right matchup at this point, it just took him a little bit to get that going. Him knowing that the Strikeforce is eventually going to be absorbed by the UFC—the heavyweight division—he wanted to make the right matchup."
On How He'd React that Chad Griggs Shaved His Chops
"It might throw me off a little bit. When you picture somebody, you picture what they're known for, and he's kind of known for those chops.
"It might help him out if he shaves them off because I might be distracted staring at his smooth skin and all. But you never know."
On the New Mexico Training Environment
"Out here it's desert, it's rattlesnakes, it's cacti. It's nasty out there. Being here in this environment helps make you tough. It helps make you into the fighter you need to be to go three five-minute rounds, five five-minute rounds in the cage.
"There's nothing nice about the cage. There's nothing soft about it. It's nasty. You get in there. You get dirty. You get beat up.
"And it's the same kind of thing here in Albuquerque. To me, the environment here, nothing nice about it. People find beauty in the desert. I don't know where they're looking because I haven't found it. It's ugly. It's nasty. It's dirt. It's desert. It's sand. It's rock. It's cactus. It's lizards and snakes.
"To me there's nothing pretty about it. That's a big reason why I'm here. The environment helps mold you into the fighter you need to be."
So Are You Doing Some Hill-Rolling?
"No hill rolling. Sprinting up those nasty hills. But no hill rolling. No thank you."