After brutalizing the opposition on TUF 17, Uriah Hall has failed to live up to the massive hype that followed him into his official UFC run. Sure, Hall hasn’t been blown away in the Octagon or anything, but he is coming off consecutive, split decision losses to Kelvin Gastelum and John Howard. Another loss to Chris Leben Saturday night at UFC 168, would be catastrophic for the feared striker.
So, what has Hall taken away from his first two UFC bouts? Which sent plenty of criticism the middleweight’s way? While speaking to UFC.com recently, here is some of what the 29 year-old had to say about his recent performances as well as Mr. Leben.
“When you do something and you keep making mistakes, when it clicks you’re like, ‘I get it!’” Hall said. “I get it now. I get what I have to do when I get in the ring. I get that I can’t let certain things inside. I get that I have to destroy the person in front of me. I get it. It’s finally clicked. And the best thing to do is show it.”
“I know Chris is going to come forward and I know he’s been saying that,” said Hall. “Only thing I can say is, ‘Come at me, bro.’ (Laughs) I don’t think I could ask for better target practice than that. You come forward and you don’t move your head, that’s perfect. As far as pressuring me, he doesn’t know me, he hasn’t fought me before. I know I’m fast and he’s going to have to catch me. Even if he catches me, I am going to hit him. I can hit him from anywhere. I can just pop him with everything I got. I want him to come at me; I’m looking forward to that. When he said that, I was like, ‘Perfect!’”
Of course, most people predicted Howard-Hall would be an amazing fight, due to the striking skills of both men, and it didn’t feature much in the way of fireworks. But, on paper, it’s hard to not get really, really excited about what Leben-Hall could deliver in the way of stand-up violence. It’s must win for Leben, as the rugged vet has lost three straight and is 1-4 in his last 5.
UFC 168 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.