Dennis Hallman easily beat John Makdessi on Saturday at UFC 140, and it’s a good thing for him that his win was impressive.
After missing weight the day before the fight, Hallman said UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had issued him a warning.
“Joe [Silva] told me directly to my face that it was bad news and I’m probably going to get cut,” Hallman said on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I said, ‘Well, I guess I’m going to have to put on the performance of my life then, huh?’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir.’”
Hallman submitted his previously unbeaten opponent with a rear-naked choke 2:58 into the first round. Besides missing weight for the bout, he had already angered UFC President Dana White in August when he fought in a bikini bottom.
“If I would have lost this fight after pissing Uncle Dana off with the bikini and then not making weight, if I would have not have performed, if I wouldn’t have finished this guy, if I would have fought him to a decision or something, then I could have expected to get cut even if I would have won,” Hallman said. “But I think that giving him the business and handling him the way I did probably saved my job and gave me one more chance to not screw up again.”
Hallman was trying to cut to lightweight for the first time in a decade. He was supposed to make 156 pounds but instead came in at 158.5.
“I used the same [weight-cutting] plan that I used 10 years ago, which is ignorant on my part,” Hallman said. “I’m 36 now instead of 25, like the last time I made the weight. Really it’s about a four-day difference of dieting that I would have had to do to make the weight. That mistake won’t happen again. I’ll be on top of things and I’ll make the 156-pound weight [limit] and then rehydrate completely like I did this time.”
Another mistake Hallman made was not doing a trial run down to 156. He knew the cut would be difficult, but he just thought he’d make it when he had to. Because he didn’t, he forfeited $5,000 of his purse to Makdessi.
“I had to pay five grand to that kid,” Hallman said. “I don’t want to pay five grand to anybody anymore for not making weight, so that’s not going to happen anymore. … Between my pro and [amateur] fights, I have over 100 fights and this is the first time I didn’t make weight. I’m ashamed of it, and it won’t happen again.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 27:35).