Part of being a veteran is knowing the reality of a situation; to not sugar coat things and see them for what they truly are.
It is with this veteran insight that Dennis Hallman recently spoke to MMAWeekly.com about his upcoming UFC 117 fight, he said, “My back’s kind of against the wall.
“It’s win or go home. It’s important for my fighting career that I’m successful in this bout.”
At 34 years old and coming off a knockout loss in his last UFC bout, Hallman knows the door may be closing on his major league opportunity sooner than later.
While time may be working against him, he does have one ace up his sleeve.
Hallman was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune digestive reaction to wheat, which hindered his ability to recover properly from physical activities such as training and fighting.
Having found out the problem and taken steps to correct it, Hallman says things are definitely on the upswing.
“I’m not completely healed yet, but it’s already 100-percent better than it’s ever been,” he stated. “I have 100-percent better cardio than I’ve ever had.
“I’m on the healing process for my body all day, so every day is getting better for me.”
Hallman’s newfound health has had an immediate impact on how he trains and prepares for fights.
“Instead of winning the first round, hanging on in the second, and then trying to survive the third, I can fight all the way through the entire fight,” he commented. “Now I don’t have to worry about that.”
After eight months off from fighting, Hallman returns this Saturday at UFC 117 against Ben Saunders; who is also looking to rebound off a loss in his last fight.
“I expect him to do what he does in all his fights, which is to try to finish the fight, and that fits right into my style,” said Hallman. “I’ve got to perform without holding anything back and if I do that I should be successful.”
A veteran of nearly 60 fights, Hallman feels his experience will also play a key factor in the fight.
“I don’t see Ben bringing anything new that I haven’t seen,” he stated. “I don’t think he’s going to bring anything unexpected to me that I haven’t experienced.”
Spurring on Hallman is his teammates at Victory Athletics, of whom many also have fights coming up this month.
“It’s always better to have a big group of people preparing at the same time,” said Hallman. “Everyone’s on the same page, so if you have a down day and you don’t feel like training hard, everyone’s there to give you a little shove in the back.”
Hallman may be up against the wall once again, but having dealt with a longtime issue that hampered his performance and of clear mind to exactly what is at stake at UFC 117, he may be the last person you want to bet against Friday night.
“I want to say thanks to Vision Quest Sport and Fitness, my training partners at Victory Athletics and God,” he concluded. “Don’t wait for the main card, come to the prelims and check me out at UFC 117, I’ll be ready and I’ll impress.”