Dennis Hallman Recovering from Infection, Says Dana White “Made his Point” Regarding Controversial Shorts
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Dennis Hallman’s UFC 133 attire, or lack thereof, has been a source of discussion and debate since Saturday night, the welterweight’s attention has been focused on recovering from a reportedly serious infection in his elbow. According to Hallman, in fact, the veteran fighter was dealing with the infection prior to his loss to Brian Ebersole Saturday night.
“On Thursday I had a little bit of bursitis in my arm, and one of the doctors decided, which apparently wasn’t good medical practice, to drain some of the fluid and inject a cortisone based steroid in it to heal it up,” Hallman told FCF. “I guess that’s the worst thing to do according to the surgeons. The next day my arm was twice as big as it was the day before….By Saturday I had poor use of my arm, and the doctors wanted to cancel the fight, but of course I said ‘it’s fine, it’s fine.’”
Although Hallman was able to take Ebersole’s back quickly into their UFC 133 tilt, the highly regarded grappler was unable to capitalize on the position and complete the rear-naked-choke he was working on. Ebersole eventually worked out of the precarious position and soon after had finished off Hallman with vicious ground-and-pound strikes from above.
“I didn’t have any strength in my arm to hold his head down, and once he popped his head out I couldn’t pummel in or anything,” said Hallman, while discussing how the infection affected his abilities Saturday night. “I found myself in a bad situation. I was pretty aware that it was a possibility going into the fight; that’s why I came out quickly and tried to do something right away…Without excruciating pain I couldn’t bend my arm and touch my shoulder.”
Fighter’s citing injuries as a causal factor behind a defeat is nothing new of course, and as a result, the question always begs to be asked, should you fight when you’re far from one hundred percent? According to Hallman, dropping out of the bout on that short of notice, wasn’t an option.
“There are two reasons,” said Hallman, who has continued to receive treatment back in his home state of Washington and is doing much better. “One, I only get paid when I fight, so for me that’s a big chunk of money that I need when I get paid. On the flip side, two days notice isn’t a lot to give your opponent nor is it a lot to give the UFC to pull out of a fight.”
“The fact of the matter is that I chose to fight him,” Hallman added. “Injury or no injury, he won the fight so hats off to him.”
Not only did Ebersole record his second UFC win, he was awarded an extra $70,000 from Dana White, for what the UFC President described as a thank-you for getting Hallman and his Speedo shorts off the pay-per-view as soon as possible.
“Maybe Dana was mad because more fights weren’t finished before that point,” said Hallman, who says he wore the skimpy shorts because of a bet he lost recently. “Maybe he was mad because every bout until that point had gone to decision and he needed something to be mad about. I’m sure he really hated the shorts though.”
While White publicly criticized Hallman and the UFC staff for allowing the fighter to wear the shorts Saturday, the veteran fighter doesn’t believe his position with the promotion is on the line as a result.
“It’s the Dana show and if Dana doesn’t want those shorts on any future shows then obviously he made his point,” Hallman noted. “Prior to that they were legal and that was legal attire. I guess now it’s not legal attire..You have to turn the shorts in with your sponsors before you fight. The employees did their jobs, they were within the guidelines.”
The loss was Hallman’s second since he returned to the UFC in 2009, and came after back-to-back victories over Ben Saunders and Karo Parisyan.
“They’re not going to fire me over the shorts,” said Hallman. “If they fire me they’re going to do so because of losing. They can’t fire me because I wore shorts that were legal.”
“Dana’s not an unfair person,” Hallman added . “I’m sure they’ll consider that this guy just fought with one arm, instead of pulling out, and there are plenty of other fighters that would have looked at their arm and said ‘I’m not going to do it.’