Matchmaking

Uriah Hall – What’s Next for Primetime?

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Uriah Hall has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance as of late. After an impressive stint on the Ultimate Fighter in 2013 (despite losing in the final), Hall has had an up and down career. Without a doubt, one of the biggest wins of his career came when he spinning back kicked Gegard Mousasi, followed by flying knee and punches. Next, he certainly fell on hard times, losing three back-to-back. First to future champion, Robert Whittaker in Australia, then back-to-back TKO losses to Derek Brunson, and also in a rematch with Mousasi. Primetime did bounce back against Krzysztof Jotko. He was then fed to Paulo Costa before beginning his resurgence.

He was sitting at 1-4 with three TKO losses when he took on Bevon Lewis at UFC 232. Hall was largely outstruck in the first two rounds, before knocking Lewis out in the third. He then won a decision over Antonio Carlos Junior before being scheduled against Anderson Silva in a main event slot. He brutally finished Silva and was next scheduled in a rematch against former champion, Chris Weidman at UFC 261. The two had previously met on the local scene. What played out was horrific when Weidman threw a leg kick 17 seconds into the bout, which was checked by Uriah Hall, instantly breaking Weidman’s leg.

Despite a rough end to his most recent bout, Uriah Hall is 5-1 in his last six, with four wins via knockout/TKO. Ranked number #8 in the middleweight division, we take a look at ‘What’s next for Uriah Hall?’.

Uriah Hall vs…

Darren Till

We all know that Uriah Hall has elite stand-up. Who also has excellent stand-up and is in and around the same rank as Hall? Enter Liverpool’s, Darren Till. Till has always favoured a stand-up game himself and the fight itself makes sense. Till was scheduled to face future title challenger, Marvin Vettori, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken collarbone.

This is a fight that would massively entertain fans as neither man would likely look for a takedown, so this one would be a chess match on the feet. Hall hasn’t landed a takedown since 2015, with Till having landed just five in his UFC career.

It’s no secret that the UFC were keen to book Israel Adesanya against Darren Till if Till were to come through Vettori. As this never came to fruition, Till needs another bout before challenging for gold. Till will be out for a while with a broken collarbone, but if Hall is happy to sit out, this is the fight to make.

Derek Brunson

Similar to Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson has enjoyed a late-career revival. After being finished twice in 2018, Brunson has gone 4-0, dominating all opponents. Hall and Brunson first met in 2016, where Brunson surprisingly knocked out Hall in the first round with a savage straight left.

The narrative is there as both men are enjoying winning runs and have had career revivals. Brunson is #5 in the division and it’s an opportunity for Hall to ‘fight up’ in the rankings. If Brunson was to win this one, it would be had to deny him a title shot.

Kevin Holland

MMASucka’s breakout fighter of 2020 has fallen on hard times in 2021. Losing two back-to-back main events, Holland has been dominated in the wrestling realm. If the UFC still want to push Holland, giving him a higher-ranked opponent may be the way to go. Who won’t look to take Holland down and allow him to stay in his wheelhouse? Enter Uriah Hall.

Holland is ranked #13 as it stands, so it would mean that Hall would have to fight someone lower ranked than him. Saying that, Chris Weidman was also ranked below him and he was happy to take that fight. Hall has very tight, effective, efficient and often flashy strikes, whereas Holland’s striking style is based on Kung Fu. He’s more unorthodox, with strange entries and often making the most out of awkward situations (the Jacare Souza knockout comes to mind). This one would have fans on the edge of their seats and it certainly an exciting match-up.

Robert Whittaker

The outside chance is that Uriah Hall is given a rematch with Robert Whittaker. Whittaker is the clear #1 contender and should have been next for Adesanya. The timing didn’t work out for ‘The Reaper’ and therefore he turned down a rematch with ‘The Last Stylebender’.

Uriah Hall

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Opponents Uriah Hall of Jamaica and Robert Whittaker of New Zealand face off during the UFC 193 Ultimate Media Day festivities at Etihad Stadium on November 13, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

If Whittaker wants to risk his #1 spot and stay active, Uriah Hall would be a good fight for him to take. He’s already beaten Hall once so knows it’s possible. He’s certainly improved since their first fight too. Hall is a well-respected name in the division, so it would keep Whittaker relevant and be a respectable win. It does of course come with a risk. Uriah Hall is enjoying a good run of form, has knockout power and will enter the bout with a lot of confidence. The ball is in Whittaker’s court with this one should the UFC offer it to him.

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Frazer is a 24 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. You can follow Frazer on twitter @Frazer_Krohn

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