During Saturday’s “The Ultimate Fighter: Season 17” finale, Uriah Hall was shocked by a hungry Kelvin Gastelum during the three-round middleweight co-main event. Hall, who came in the fight as a heavy favorite, was outworked by Gastelum and lost by a razor-thin split decision.
Despite the loss, Hall’s stock remains high. He clearly possessed the better skills and landed the more impressive strikes in his fight. His overconfidence, however, was apparent, as he was lazy with his footwork and grappling. As a result, the relentless Gastelum was able to control the pace by outworking the heavy favorite.
During the post fight press conference, Hall alluded to his nonchalant attitude being the cause of his misfortunes.
“I was trying to have some fun, man, ” Hall said. “I trained with [Gastelum] and I like him.”
Hall had no such trouble during his three televised fights on “The Ultimate Fighter.” During those fights, however, Hall fought members with whom he had not trained. It is understandable how the inexperienced Hall would be unable to get mentally prepared to fight a friend like Gastelum.
This will serve as a learning experience for Hall, who has only 10 professional MMA fights. He only has to look to the night’s main event to see how top-level fighters get prepared to fight friends and former training partners.
Similar to Hall and Gastelum, Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen trained together in the past and remain friends. Faber and Jorgensen, on the other hand, were able to put their friendship aside and put on high-level performances. The more talented fighter won when Faber submitted Jorgensen by way of a choke in the fourth round.
Hall escaped his fight uninjured and is certain to be back in action soon. Considering his incredible talent, Saturday’s fight will prove to be just a bump in the road on his way to UFC middleweight title contention.