Uriah Hall was the most hyped fighter during the 17th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but he failed to live up to the high expectations placed on him at the Finale.
Uriah (7-3-0, 4 KOs) ended up losing a close split decision to 3:1 underdog Kelvin Gastelum (6-0-0, 3 KOs), one of the biggest upsets in TUF history.
To make things more bizarre, Hall didn’t get outclassed or dominated during his TUF 17 Finale encounter against Gastelum, instead, he lost because he was content to play around with his opponent, never really looking to end the fight at any point during their showdown.
Uriah is obviously bummed out about how things went down against Gastelum, and he claims his close relationship with Kelvin affected his killer instinct during their bout.
“I trained with the guy, and I like him,” Hall said during a conversation with MMAJunkie.com. “It was kind of that emotion I was trying to get rid of, so it was kind of weird. … Going in the ring, I was like, ‘[expletive], here we go again.’ That side just kind of got the best of me, but there’s no excuse. Kelvin’s a great guy. He’s a tough kid. I think he’s going to go really far in this sport, and I’m happy for him.”
As far as his excessive showboating during the fight is concerned, the Jamaican stated: “I was trying to have some fun, man.”
While Uriah wasn’t able to deliver in arguably the biggest fight of his professional MMA career so far, the sky is still the limit for the knockout specialist. When he wanted to, he landed strikes at will against Gastelum, and his wrestling ability turned out to be a lot better than most initially thought (I certainly wasn’t expecting to see him German-suplex a short, stocky guy like Kelvin). His takedown defense was solid, he always found a way to get back to his feet when his back hit the canvas, and it couldn’t be any clearer at this point that he doesn’t really have any holes in his game, besides his focus issues.
A good coach or sports psychologist should fix that.