Fox News host Sean Hannity had UFC president Dana White as a guest this week to discuss various matters, including how the UFC has gotten back to business and what measures they’ve taken to do so. This is expected, and nothing was truly out of the ordinary there.
But some people can’t help but get in their own way when it comes to seeking validation, and this is one of those situations.
Perhaps it was too much to ask that he restrain himself, but having the head of a Mixed Martial Arts organization was viewed as an opportunity for Hannity to once again demonstrate his affinity for hand to hand combat. Nearing the closing of the interview, his crew had prepared clips of Hannity training in... some kind of self defense. It starts where all tough guys start, gun disarms. Not even the fancy types, where you look like you’ve caught the vapors, but rather the kind that’s almost guaranteed to have the gunman squeeze off a round to your dome as you play slappy hands with his Glock. From there, it’s open hand slaps that have been tested in schoolyards across the globe. It is unclear if Hannity’s staff did so to help Hannity or if this was a subtle attempt at subterfuge.
This might be the saddest/funniest thing I've ever seen.— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 19, 2020
Hannity says his staff sent Dana White some videos of his "martial arts training," then he asks White to rate him as the show airs clips of said "training" pic.twitter.com/aiAuQP4L43
Sean Hannity: My staff apparently sent you some of my uh, my training videos. I’ve been doing this now, seven years, 4-5 days a week— you’re laughing, that’s not a good sign if you’re laughing at some of the videos...
Dana White: I’m not laughing, I’m smiling. I’m smiling, I love it. Listen, when i was going up your parents would put you in Karate or Taekwondo, and that’s the martial art that people took. This is the new martial art that people are training in all over the world. I think it’s great that you do it. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, your wife, your kids, I love it.
Hannity: By the way, it’s a combination of Krav (Maga), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kempo, Boxing, but I do a lot of situational training. Obviously, there’s some people, this may shock you, Dana — they hate me. Just in case. Protecting myself.
White: (Laughs) Yeah. I hear ya. I know exactly what you’re talking about (more laughs).
Hannity: Uh, big fan. Can’t wait to go, I’d love to one of these days go to a fight with you. Good luck with your opening.
Observe the technique here. Hannity demonstrates no head movement, poor rotation at the waist and still does those slap punches that are out of place in an 80s Turkish action movie. I don’t know about you, but a guy that’s literally made hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of his career should have better training. Especially with 4-5 sessions a week for seven years
I guess the only nice thing I can say is that at least he didn’t seek out the “special forces“ guy that trained James Toney. Having just typed that, I’ve just realized that this would perhaps be an upgrade. Pray for me, for I am torn.
But good on Dana for keeping his composure, and he appears to be genuine in his encouragement for Sean to continue to train. He really seemed to not be laughing at all, and is correct that martial arts training can be a great activity for getting and staying in shape while learning applicable self defense skills. Despite that, you can still see his morale hit the floor when Dana wasn’t as impressed as he expected. But once Dana gave him that bit of a pep talk, Hannity resumed his “notice me, sempai“ spiel bringing up disciplines that his training took from. In practice, it looks less like a deadly hybrid delicacy and more like a struggle meal. Not sure if Dana will take him up on the offer to hang out at a fight event, but a man that throws slaps like that is a man full of hope. Can’t tell him nothing.
This would also be a good time to remind you, fine reader, of the time Hannity trained with none other than UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell. That showed even more of his repertoire, with typical trappings of somewhat compliant partners for the purpose of demonstration. Marvel at what I guess technically count as punches and not aggressive sideways door-knocking. Tremble at the nasty elbows, and the inexplicable Mongolian chop to the neck. You may laugh, but Sean is ahead of the game demonstrating shades of Haku. He event sinks in a choke, and it doesn’t look bad. It’s schlubby divorced dad energy, the kind we all need in 2020. Those high school kids won’t be laughing when he channels the precision and violence of Kwang.
Personally, I would love to see much more of this. Give me Hannity doing combatives once a week with a different combat personality, I’ll pay extra for that. It’s certainly better than what he does now.