No matter who you are, if you watched UFC 133 you probably had some sort of reaction to Dennis Hallman. Even if you had no idea who he was before the event, you’ll certainly remember him for his bright speedo that he wore for his fight against Brian Ebersole. The fallout of those shorter-than-short shorts has been quite interesting: Dana White has banned them, Ebersole was inducted into ESPN’s Worst Looks In Sports History, and Hallman himself recently explained what led him to make such a bizarre choice in attire. Here are all the details.
First up: Dana White wasn’t kidding when he said that we’d never see a speedo again in the UFC. Here’s some very heated quotes from the UFC President courtesy of MMA Weekly: “I’ve never been so embarrassed in the UFC as I was when (Hallman walked out in the shorts)… We do now [have a dress code.] You know what I thought we had? I thought we had some common sense… I was horrified by that.”
And for those wanting to read the full induction of Dennis Hallman into ESPN’s “Worst Looks in Sports History”, you can do so by clicking here.
Recently, famed MMA journalist Ariel Helwani had a chance to interview Hallman on Helwani’s excellent “MMA Hour” program. Here are some highlights as Hallman attempted to explain his actions and his reaction to the reaction his attire inspired: “”I won’t say what the bet was about, but I lost a bet… and losing the bet meant that I got to wear some speedos… I thought it was funny. I thought it was embarrassing for me… But I didn’t think anybody would be cross about it… Maybe I can put those speedos on Ebay as the last speedos ever worn in the UFC and make some money.”
In all honesty, my immediate reaction to seeing Hallman’s attire was to question what I was seeing. I was honestly shocked that both the UFC officials and the athletic commission officials would allow Hallman to fight in something like that. Once the initial shock left, though, I thought it was honestly hilarious to see a grown man try to win an MMA fight in a speedo. And to be honest, Hallman came pretty close to doing just that.
I also thought “he must’ve lost a bet” after the initial shock wore off, and I’m glad to know that I was right. I honestly can’t imagine any other reason why Hallman would’ve worn such an attire.
But, and this the major “but” of this piece, I don’t know if Dana White’s reaction was justified. I think it’s going a little too far to say that you’re “horrified” and “disgusted” by seeing a man wearing a speedo. It’s a speedo, it’s not like he was naked. It’s not even like it set MMA back, most people shrugged it off as a bizarre choice of wardrobe. I doubt anyone was legitimately offended by seeing Hallman in a speedo, and if they were, then I’d honestly suggest that those offended get a reality check.
In the end, Hallman didn’t do anything illegal and I doubt he’ll ever do it again, especially since the UFC has now expressly forbidden it.