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Dana White admits paying Dennis Hallman was a bad business decision but the right thing to do

UFC President Dana White may have the reputation of a cold, calculating businessman but the outspoken executive also has a soft spot that occasionally comes to the surface. The latest example of White’s generosity came over the weekend when he decided to pay UFC on FX 5 fighter Dennis Hallman his contracted rate despite an inability to make weight. White’s compassionate gesture related to some undisclosed issues Hallman is dealing with on the homefront.

White was asked about the matter in an interview with MMAJunkie after the event’s conclusion where he explained his rationale for reaching out to Hallman even if it wasn’t the soundest financial decision.

“He’s got a lot of personal problems that he needs to handle. I hope that the show and win money that I gave him helps him and his family to fix whatever needs to be fixed and the guy doesn’t lose everything,” said White. “Business-wise, it was the stupidest f*cking thing in the world to do. As a human being, it was what I wanted to do.”

“I don’t want to say anything about Dennis Hallman’s life and personal problems right now, but he was in no shape whatsoever, mentally or physically, to fight,” he continued, making it clear his conscience wouldn’t let him put Hallman in the Octagon. “I should be hung from a tree by my f*cking ears and beat with a stick if I try to put this guy out there to fight.”


  • AlphaOmega says:

    Didn’t he turn around and take a shot at Hallman in the post fight conference when talking about Stephens? When he made the comment that lilheathen wasn’t like these younger fighters who are like oh no my heads not in the right place so I can’t fight. Or was he talking about someone else?

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I hope that the show and win money that I gave him helps him and his family to fix whatever needs to be fixed and the guy doesn’t lose everything.”

    Way to be a hero, Dana.

    The UFC has a $100M annual contract just with FOX, and in this instance they gave a distressed fighter a $30K check as they sent him packing. Oh, the humanity.

  • MCM says:

    Hallman has said that he’s going through a tough custody battle for his kid at the moment. As a father, I can see how Dennis head is nowhere close to being in the right place for a fight. With as much as Dana tweets about his own kid, I think he fully understands too. I kinda understand why they had to cut him for missing weight, but I’m glad that Zuffa was willing to help the guy out given his circumstances. Not many other companies (in any field) would have been so understanding.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Zuffa laid off an employee and provided him some compensation on his way out. It was a nice gesture they weren’t obligated to do, but that sort of thing has become pretty standard HR practice for established, reputable companies.

    The part I’m not impressed by is Dana White publicizing the matter, saying stuff like “I hope the money I gave him helps him & his family” while in the next breath talking about it being the “stupidest f*cking thing in the world to do” from a business standpoint. That’s just a completely misguided comment that to me is another example of Dana just not getting it.

    Employee relations is a huge component of any successful business. For the UFC, this is especially true as the fighters *are* the product that generates the revenue. Dana’s ridiculous attitude at times of “F*ck that guy; let him try to go work somewhere else” is possible because the UFC dominates the MMA landscape, but the imbalance of power that exists between the UFC & its fighters ranges from annoying to sickening for me, and so when an incident like this comes up and DW leverages the situation to garner some PR goodwill, it’s mostly a crock.


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