Just how far will Uriah Hall go in the UFC?

Last night on The Ultimate Fighter, Uriah Hall used a simple counter right cross to absolutely knock Bubba McDaniel out cold in a mere nine seconds, prompting Coach Chael Sonnen to declare Hall an immediate contender in the UFC Middleweight division. While this may or may not be true, one thing is for certain: Hall is a force to be reckoned with, and will put his extensive standup skills to use in the Octagon very soon.

But does what he has accomplished thus far make him an actual contender in the UFC? That’s a hard spot to obtain, and an even harder one to maintain. Hall has been beyond dominant on this season of TUF, and with the way he’s been destroying guys on the show, bright things would seem to be on the horizon for the Jamaican-born fighter. As history has shown us, it could definitely go either way.

Let’s take at the reasons why or why not Uriah Hall will find his way to the top of the UFC.

First off, and most obviously, Hall’s striking is almost on another level when compared to his peers on the show, who are definitely no slouches in their own right. But can it compare to the UFC’s top strikers at 185 lbs.? I would have to say yes, as it’s tough to find a striker who mixes it up as well as Hall while maintaining the kind of flash KO power he does. I hate to sound cliché, but of course Anderson Silva comes to mind for his mix of power and accuracy.

However, while you must inevitably bring Anderson Silva into the conversation, it’s actually The Spider’s next opponent who’s shown the gameplan to defeat Hall. Chris Weidman destroyed Uriah Hall back in 2010 for the Ring of Combat Middleweight title. Weidman used his wrestling pedigree to ground Hall, and finished the fight off with a barrage of punches. That’s the big question about Hall, and one that hasn’t been answered or really tested throughout the whole season of TUF.

Hall rebounded well and eventually obtained the Ring of Combat Middleweight title, which he still owns. His record sits at 7-2, but his losses are against top level UFC Middleweights Weidman and Costa Philippou. His other fights are wins against relatively unknown fighters.

Does the age-old question of a flashy striker not being able to deal with wrestlers come into play here? That’s tough to actually determine, as Hall has been knocking his TUF opponents out cold before they can drag him into deep water. I’m also not convinced that either Adam Cellar or Bubba McDaniel was truly good enough at wrestling to do that.

Not to detract from anything Hall has accomplished, because he is one of the most precise and thoroughly dangerous strikers I’ve ever seen, and that’s without ever officially stepping into the Octagon.

So will Hall make his way to the top of the world’s biggest MMA promotion? I do think he’s gotten much better since his losses to Weidman and Philippou, but I also think both of those combatants have upped their game vastly since 2010 as well. If top-level grapplers await Uriah Hall in his early UFC outings, he could have a tough go of it. He could also knock them out in under a minute and prove me wrong.

It’s really going to depend on whom the UFC matches him up with. Give him a striker, and he would most likely be favored in many matchups. The bout could be an instant classic sure to entertain fans as well. Perhaps a fight versus Bisping would be exciting down the line. Match him up with the division’s best wrestlers, however, and his flashy array of strikes could be nullified quickly. I don’t see him getting past the wrestling prowess of Yushin Okami, Mark Munoz, and of course Weidman at this point.

In either case, I think the UFC knows how to place the fighters they deem as extremely marketable, and obviously Hall falls into that category. I expect Hall to initially get some good fights with strikers who love to stand and bang. Should he win those, he will find himself in the unenviable position of facing off with the division’s top grapplers. Then we will find out just how far his ground game has progressed. Who would you like to see him face off with?

Uriah Hall has a wealth of potential heading into the TUF Semifinals. Just how far do you predict Uriah Hall to go in the UFC?


24 Comments

  1. Profile photo of highkick12

    highkick12

    April 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Whether he's the real deal or not Id love to see him fight Anderson just cause he will stand with him. Anderson fights so many wrestlers so win or lose this would have to be an exciting fight.

  2. Profile photo of Bryan Fontez

    Bryan Fontez

    April 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    If Uriah comes out of the semis and finals with the same quick and shocking finishes, I'd love to see him be the first guy in TUF history get an instant title shot.

    Not gonna lie, from what I've seen this guy would give Anderson a challenge on the feet, speed, dynamics… Hell I'd even say he's got more power and better kicks than Anderson.

    Regardless, I can't wait to see what happens with this guy.

    • Profile photo of UnderdogGreatness

      UnderdogGreatness

      April 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Agreed.

      Yes, he does look a lot more powerful than the Champ. As much as it pains me to say this, if he is right mentally, he'll give Silva a lot of problems on the feet.

      Ladies and gentlemen, Hall is here to stay.

    • Profile photo of dropkickmurphy

      dropkickmurphy

      April 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      DIdn't Matt Serra get an immediate title shot against St.Pierre after TUF? Or am I mistaken?

    • Profile photo of KeithFarrell

      KeithFarrell

      April 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Bryan I do agree he looks like an absolute beast but it's impossible and unfair to compare someone to Anderson Silva's striking because they beat Adam Cella and Bubba McDaniels impressively.

      If he beats anyone of note, nevermind the top 10, in a striking match then it's worth considering but even thinking about giving him an edge over Anderson at this stage is simply unfair.

      Anderson made his KO of the Year over one of the best strikers in MMA, what do you think he would do to a Bubba McDaniels who has zero confidence, walks forward with his hands down and no head movement?

    • Profile photo of lovehate83

      lovehate83

      April 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      wouldnt matt serra be the first guy to get a instant title shot when leaving TUF?

    • Profile photo of enjoylife321

      enjoylife321

      April 4, 2013 at 6:34 am

      @Bryan….

      Anderson Silva's front kick Ko to the face of Belfort was great, but Uriah halls spinning back kick was the craziest, most spectacular KO i can remember in a long time….

      I don't think I have ever sat there going '''oooooooohhhhhh FFFFUUUUKKKK" for as long as i did.

  3. Profile photo of UnderdogGreatness

    UnderdogGreatness

    April 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    In Hall's defense, he was somewhat inexperienced when it fought Weidman. Some people mature fast, some people are late bloomers. Has he gotten much better since that fight took place? My answer would be YES.

    Wow – you could see $$$ signs into Dana's eyes after he put Bubba out of his misery. Poor Bubba, maybe he wasn't so tough after all.

    To be honest, I don't think he's mentally ready to fight Silva quite yet, so he'd probably get destroyed by the champ if they were to fight now. That being said, Hall is an absolute beast with a very bright future in the UFC. Like Silva, he may just end up being another Lay and pray artist annihilator.

    Bold prediction: Once the G.O.A.T retires, Hall will become the MW champ.

  4. Profile photo of azzkika

    azzkika

    April 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_nkOyu201M

    If this guy develops a very good TD defense and can hold his own in the clinch on the fence he will be champ. A lot of ifs to answer but his stand up is very flashy and varied and a nightmare to defend against because he comes from so many angles with great timing. Too early to compare him with Silva as he has a long way to go to be considered anywhere near Silva's level but I reckon there's a lot of MWs in the UFC taking a long hard look at the guy because his power is nasty and his timing looks great also.

  5. Profile photo of Evan Holober

    Evan Holober

    April 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Anderson would absolutely murder him. This is getting out of hand. He's beating up dudes that aren't even UFC caliber, and you guys wanna see him take on the best stand up fighter in MMA history?

    You know who else was an absolute beast a year and a half ago? Diego Brandao. He was being compared to Aldo in every way possible. Now he's 1-1 in the UFC.

    Lets wait to see if he could beat some borderline top 25 fighters before any of this talk ramps up.

    • Profile photo of KeithFarrell

      KeithFarrell

      April 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Agreed but I think Hall is a better prospect than Brandao, mainly due to Brando's cardio or lack of.

    • Profile photo of UnderdogGreatness

      UnderdogGreatness

      April 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Relax, EH, relax. We don't need you to get a heart attack behind the keyboard now – JP.

      As a die hard Silva fan, I'm on your side. He'd most likely destroy Hall if they ever fought, but Hall is no slouch as a striker. Is he a better striker than the G.O.A.T? Heck no. No one is.

      As good as Hall can be, he is not quite ready for the Champ yet. He still has a long way to go. No one, no one is on Silva's level when it comes to striking, period. Now, are we getting ahead of ourselves a bit? Maybe. But Hall is still an absolute beast.

      • Profile photo of chael4president1

        chael4president1

        April 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        @Underdog-Actually plenty of people are better strikers than Anderson Silva. There aren't many in MMA, but Steven Wonderboy Thompson is a better striker and has beaten Anderson pretty handily when they practiced together. My old striking coach practically grew up at Wonderboy's father's Karate school. So I would hear a lot about him. When he went and sparred with the Black House guys, he sparred with Anderson and dominated. Then Anderson went over to Machida and said you gotta spar with this guy. Wonderboy also mopped the floor with GSP and Patrick Cote when he has sparred them. Steven Thompson has a long way to go to become more well rounded. And the loss to Matt Brown exposed Wonderboy's lack of cardio. He needs to improve a lot on his ground game, but the point is Anderson Silva is not this infallible God of striking like some think. He's maybe the best MMA striker, but in pure striking there are people that are above him.

        • Profile photo of KeithFarrell

          KeithFarrell

          April 5, 2013 at 12:14 am

          @ chael4president
          Wonderboy is a great striker no doubt but I don't think he is as good as Anderson, not in actual competition anyway.
          Even in the first round it wasn't like Thompson was picking Matt Brown apart, he was doing well at best. If you struggle with Matt Brown standing (no shame in that) then Silva will put you in the hospital.

          Of course Anderson isn't the best striker in the world but if your going to bring that up, why mention Wonderyboy? He is not even close to the top 50 strikers in the world.
          Mention someone like Floyd Mayweather, Giorgio Petrosyan, Tyrone Spong and then it will be worth saying there are better guys than Anderson, instead of saying Wonderboy who has never proved that claim.

  6. Profile photo of KeithFarrell

    KeithFarrell

    April 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I think he can go HALL the way.

    Seriously though, I was one of the guys here saying Hall's KO may be the best of all time and that he is a super talent, after he KO'd Adam Cella. I was also one of the guys arguing for him when the haters came out and said that he was overrated an would never go anywhere.

    I'm now here saying he got another spectacular KO but let's see him against, presumably, Josh Samman (who is legit) in the finals and then a decent MW opponent before his fighting ability is even mentioned in the same breath with Anderson Silva's.

  7. Profile photo of gm1

    gm1

    April 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Lets not blow this out of porportion people….
    Put him up against a top 10 guy, then a top 5guy and then he gets Anderson….

    Cella is a kid….
    Bubba was a p&%&y….and lost before he even entered the cage..

  8. Profile photo of thexperience1

    thexperience1

    April 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I think Uriah got it… i think he could really be a contender! the Weidman fight was 3 years ago and Uriah stepped his game up BIGTIME. I would love to see a rematch.. I'm pretty sure Uriah would destroy him now…. His standup is scary! We can't really talk about his groundgame yet cause he didn't go there just yet on TUF.. butttt judging by his standup imrpoving so much in the past 3 years i'm pretty sure he worked HARD on his groundgame too… cause it's his lack of TDD that put the TKO on his record…. something tells me he's gonna go undefeated for a long long time…

  9. Profile photo of cranestyle

    cranestyle

    April 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Hard to say how well he'll do until his defense is really tested. But he wasn't set and knocked Bubba out going backwards. Did you see the look on Condit's face? It said "I hope this guy stays at 185".

    But talking about a title shot already is just plain silly. He has to actually win two more fights before he's even TUF champ. Then, he'll be at least 2-3 big wins away. It could happen in 2-3 years, but that is a lot of "ifs".

    Serra was already a veteran when he was on TUF, so the comparison doesn't hold. You can ruin a young fighter by rushing them and Dana knows this.

  10. Profile photo of NCapone

    NCapone

    April 5, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Guess this is a spoiler that he is in the TUF Finale?

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