With much of the United States celebrating a festive holiday full of thanks, a bit of sad news came via Dennis Hallman's Facebook account that his house burned to the ground on Thanksgiving morning.
Fortunately, no one was hurt.
"Sad thanksgiving for me and my family. My house burned down early this AM. Thank God no one was hurt and I have that to be thankful for. Something like this makes my recent direction change all the harder...the one person that could make me feel okay about everything is no longer here. When God wants you to have a fresh start sometimes he really wants to make his point clear."
It's been a rough 2012 for the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, who was recently released from the world's preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion. First, he got injured in the lead-up to his scheduled UFC on FOX 3 bout against Anthony Ferguson.
He then got re-booked to face Thiago Tavares on the ill-fated UFC 151 card that was promptly blown up. That match got bumped back to UFC on FX 5, but he weighed in for his lightweight bout at 163 pounds. Tavares was willing to cut him some slack to 159, but he was unable to make even that weight.
The UFC cut him after that debacle, but surprisingly, it was a very polite, even friendly parting of ways.
For those of you following MMA and UFC in particular, it was a bit strange, given UFC President Dana White's prickly demeanor to people who miss weight. Apparently, the extraneous circumstances surrounding Hallman's personal issues were enough to make the firing more of a friendly goodbye than a scene out of Good Burger or Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
"They are cutting me," he wrote. "Dana gave me my show and win pay to help me deal with the mountain in front of me. Now I have to go make weight a couple times on the regional circuit. I'll be back to the UFC though, I always am."
"I'm having some personal issues at home," Hallman said. "I'm not fit to fight. I told Dana what my issues were. He understands family matters, and he was cool with me not fighting."