Brian Ebersole stepped into the Octagon at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson with well over 15 years of cage-time on his resume. He walked out – well, not really walked so much as hobbled – with a knee injury, a loss via TKO, and a mind made up. He was retiring.
Ebersole was a rare breed in the sport. As an eccentric, he took to shaving his chest hair into the shape of an arrow (i.e., a “hairrow”), and when he fought, it was with a kind a nonchalance you never expect when fists are flying and men are trying to hurt each other. But the dude fought so damn much. His record upon announcing his retirement was 51-17-1, and that kind of edge in experience meant that by the time he made it into the UFC at UFC 127, there wasn’t a goddamn thing that opponent Chris Lytle could do to him that hadn’t been done before.
That UFC debut ended with a victory via unanimous decision for Ebersole, and sure, he’d never make a real run for any UFC belts, he was one of the fighters on a card that was guaranteed to entertain.
If you want to distill his career into notable wins, there are names like Lytle, John Howard, Carlos Newton and Dennis Hallman you could point to. But that would be glossing over his true value and contributions to the sport. Ebersole was a performer, and man who did not give a crap, could not be submitted, and who could manage to get the “W” even after a decade of scraps.
For that, he deserves respect.