One term that is tossed around in MMA a bit lightly sometimes is the word veteran. Another is the term pioneer. Well, both of those terms certainly apply to Dennis Hallman, who lost his home in a house fire this past Thanksgiving. Here is a guy that paid his dues and never got his due. Let’s take a good look at his career that goes back to the mid 90′s.
When you get a chance take a peak at his SHERDOG record for some references….
The early UFCF (United Full Contact Federation) stuff is to be respected. His coach Matt Hume had organized the group before the UFC’s inception, and they had very technical fighting for that era.
He started fighting in Extreme Challenge, the long running Monte Cox event that has produced a who’s who of MMA fighters, and in an early match in 1998 he choked out future UFC champion Matt Hughes in under 20 seconds.
By 1999, Hallman was competing in Japan;s SHOOTO. This was an era where the UFC still dug up guys like Chris Condo (look this guy up) so when you are talking SHOOTO you were definitely talking about the most technical MMA fights in the world at the time.
Hallman was part of the 2000 team that Matt Hume took to the 3rd ever Abu Dhabi Submission Grappling World Championships. The team included Ivan Salaverry, Josh Barnett, Kim Mason, Anthony Hamlett and Jeff Monson. Hallman would bow out to Renzo Gracie in the first round, but by 2000 it was clear that he was one of the top technical fighters in the world.
At the end of 2000, at the UFC 29, he rematched Matt Hughes, and when Hughes attempted his patented slam, Hallman arm barred him again. He is 2-0 against a UFC Hall of Famer in Hughes, who had less than 1 minute total for Hallman.
Hallman has experienced some discipline problems, as illustrated by his consistent issues making weight throughout his career. He has fought at Lightweight, Welterweight and Middleweight in his career, and even attempted to make 145 lbs for the ADCC event one year.
My reason for this is that Hallman is a top fighter, who never broke into the big money. The UFC recently cut him, and at 36, he is looking for another job. Fighting for custody of 4 kids, money goes fast.
There are articles on the internet giving details, including Loretta Hunt’s piece on CNN at - http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/loretta_hunt/11/26/dennis-hallman/index.html?sct=mma_t11_a0.
MMA fighter and friend Benji Radach got a fund raier page together at - https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/dOOb9.
One of the things I hate about boxing is seeing the old timers and the tragic stories. MMA as a sport is sure to ink it’s share, and already has (see Justin Eilers, Doug Dedge and Evan Tanner for three quick ones), but it is good to see their are people who are supporting Hallman. If you can give, go ahead and do so, especially kids clothes.
I don’t know if after so many years and so many wars, Dennis has it in him anymore, but a 2 fight deal from the UFC would be nice to see as well. Let’s sign off with a flashback….
Here – let’s go back to October of 1998, and look at Hallman’s 17 second guillotine over Matt Hughes.