Fan Fuel: UFC Ask the Insider on Uriah Hall

Showdown Joe answers several fan questions this week including whether he thinks Uriah Hall threw his last fight.
April 17, 2013, 4:19 PM

BY SHOWDOWN JOE FERRARO

It’s that time of week again, where the limitations of social media offer me the opportunity to address your questions here, on a platform that allows me more than 140 characters. And there is lots to discuss.

Nothing Uriah Hall did (or did not do) in his bout vs. Kelvin Gastelum triggered me to believe he was throwing the bout. He lost, fair and square, to a better a fighter that evening and is likely back home addressing the issues that cause him to lose. In fact, he looked exactly like many of us thought he would look. And if he was awarded the victory by the judges, I would have had an issue with their scorecards, but would not have raised a big stink about it. The fight was close.

As for this type of scenario happening in the UFC, I doubt it. And if it did, believe me, the guilty party would be destroyed not just by public opinion, but by the UFC’s legal team.

Absolutely I do. He has all the physical skills to be a contender at 185 lbs, but it appears he has to polish off a few items that seem to stick out. The first is the mental part, and I’m not talking about what was showcased on this season of TUF. I don’t agree with Dana White when he said that Hall mentally broke, but I do agree with what Dana said about Uriah lacking the killer instinct in his bout vs. Kelvin. Hall stated he wanted to “play” in the cage; well, that back fired for him. Instead, if he went in there with his finisher’s mentality (which he definitely has), he would become a serious force that many a fighter would think twice about signing their name across a dotted line.


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It should also be noted that we do not know if he had any injuries that prevented him from having a full training camp; if he had any the night of; and his overall health and mindset when he entered the octagon. Over the years, from the top fighters on the pound for pound rankings to guys/girls who I’ve seen make their MMA debuts, there are so many variables that many of us just do not know about. These variables can quickly turn a predator into prey on fight night.

It’s a topic that has been addressed and answered by both Georges and Rory dozens of times, but one that will not go away. The Tristar doors were opened for MacDonald so he could one day become a champion in the UFC. And in no way did that gesture mean that he would do so by defeating his teammate in the octagon.

Rory is still a few fights away from a title shot. He faces Ellenberger next. Then he wants Condit. By the time that happens, who knows what the division will look like. Their paths will not cross, in fact, GSP will likely be done with MMA or perhaps move up to 185 lbs, to then open the door for Rory to one day fight for the title.

My initial answer is Yes, but Machida is now next in line to fight the winner of Jones/Sonnen, so technically, the real answer is no. Then again, if Sonnen wins, and Jones gets a rematch, Lyoto vs. Alexander Gustaffson will likely happen, whether “The Dragon” likes it or not.

Quite simply, pressure, pace, control, then rinse, wash and repeat. Just watch the two bouts between Okami and Belcher, and see why Yushin defeated him twice. I for one believed Belcher had the edge in the rematch, but I was incorrect. Alan and Michael are evenly matched, and I won’t be surprised if the fight goes the distance – I can’t see either guy finishing the other.

Unfortunately for “The California Kid”, his options are limited. He is a perennial number one or two contender. He deserves another shot, but he likely won’t get it. While I like the Michael McDonald bout, and it makes the most sense, historical data dictates that the UFC rarely pits a guy who has won his last bout, versus someone who lost their last tilt. Something tells me, Faber will get Brad Pickett next, but I won’t be surprised if it is McDonald instead.


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As for my predictions, I don’t make them, but I will say Faber has the edger over MacDonald, while Renan Barao has the edge over Urijah.

There are too many “what ifs” in this scenario, and we shouldn’t cross this bridge until we get there. Mir is a legit threat to Cormier, despite what the odds will tell you. The one tangible edge that Cormier has that will give Frank fits is speed. He should be able to keep Frank guessing, until a KO/TKO finish presents itself. Other than that, this one could go the distance. Now, if he plays with fire, and takes Frank down to the ground – it will make for a very exciting bout for the fans, albeit a very risk one for DC.

Now, should Daniel Cormier win, there are still plenty of guys he can compete against before he gets close to a title shot. Until his only option at heavyweight is to fight his training partner, Cain Velasquez, no decision to stay or drop down is required. And they’ve both told me that it’s for a title, they may put their friendship aside, and duke it out in the octagon.

I really like this matchup. There are plenty of guys in the top 10 that “Hapa” could compete against, especially a rematch with BigFoot (should Silva lose to Cain next month), but seeing as Alistair does not have an opponent right now, this bout makes serious sense for the UFC. It offers the organization a way to give Alistair an opportunity to prove he is still a threat in the division and/or show that Browne is the real deal, and is a top five guy.

Not sure I understand where the “delusional” part comes from, but after his defeat of Dan Henderson, UFC President Dana White made it crystal clear at the post-fight press conference, that Lyoto is next in line for a title shot. How Machida can misinterpret that other than believing he has a title shot, is beyond me. Why risk that shot vs. someone else – he has it, and while fighting anyone at 205 lbs is what most believe he should do, it’s not what he has to do. The goal is to regain the title – and he has made it back to the point where he can do that. No point in throwing that away, unless there is no other option for him but to compete again, based on the title shot being put on hold for reasons outside of his control.

I believe Jordan said it best on this week’s episode of UFC Central. He believes Brown is ranked somewhere around number 15, and if he beats him, then that’s where he should be ranked next. It’s a big fight for Mein, and a win will do wonders for his career, as he is in a division that is absolutely stacked. The options for him are plenty, and step one is to deal with a tough guy who can give him fits all night.

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