Journeyman fighter Dennis Hallman tested positive for two types of steroids following his heelhook submission victory over Jeremiah Metcalf on Nov. 16, according to the California State Athletic Commission, making him the most surprising and disappointing positive-testee since Royce Gracie. Hallman — an excellent grappler and hard-working fighter with over fifty bouts to his credit — will be suspended until October of 2008, according to Sherdog.com.
With the recent spate of mixed martial artists coming up positive in steroid tests, I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. But something about Hallman and the no-frills way he’s approached his career makes this hard to accept. I mean, did he really need to inject himself with two types of steroids in order to defeat Jeremiah Metcalf (who has less than ten pro fights to his credit) on a Strikefore card? The entire fight took just over a minute and a half. Is that really worth the year suspension and the damage to Hallman’s reputation?
Maybe one of the reasons I have such a soft spot for Hallman is a story one of his friends told me once at an IFL event. According to this friend, Hallman was involved in an altercation outside a bar where a drunk guy was absolutely insistent on fighting him. Not wanting to brawl it out with the guy and risk hurting either one of them, Hallman quickly jumped behind the guy and onto his back, locking in a rear naked choke and rendering the guy unconscious before he could react. In order to teach him a lesson about the whole experience, apparently, Hallman took the guy’s shoes off his feet and tied them to the bumper of his truck, driving around town with them that way for several weeks.
And you’re telling me this man used steroids? Why, Dennis? Why?
As much as I hate when everyone trots out their excuses after a positive steroid test, I’d still like to hear Hallman explain what he was thinking. I hope he was injured severely to the point where he felt this was the only way he could stand up long enough to get to the ring. I would hate to believe he was dumb enough to think, ‘You know what I need to beat this middle-of-the-road guy, Metcalf? Steroids. Just ain’t no other way I’ll have a chance.’
I’d also hate to believe that this isn’t the first time Hallman’s performance has been enhanced, just the first time he’s been caught. Whatever the case, I’d like to hear what Hallman has to say about it, and whether he plans to come back after the suspension or just fade into the scenery and hope nobody remembers this phase of his career.