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When you look at the history of Uriah Hall, from a New Jersey native we viewed him differently than most as he made his way up the UFC. Fighting in ROC, a local promotion that has springboarded some of the greatest talents in the UFC, Hall was looked at as one of the premier forces in the area. It was always a push pull between him and Chris Weidman in their division.
The one thing that made Hall so dangerous back then was his dynamic athletic ability, his power and his ability to carry heavy power in every limb. After winning the vacant middleweight strap in ROC, he was aligned to fight Chris Weidman, where Hall would lose the belt and suffer his very first loss.
After some time to get a few more fights under his belt, Hall won the vacant belt a second time, before getting the call to step up in the big show. He lost his first two fights by way of split decision under the UFC umbrella, and you can see a bit of a trend in the way he fights.
Since then, his career has been an up-and-down roller coaster, largely due to a mental aspect. Hall either shows up mentally or he doesn’t. It has been an issue with him his entire career. With a record of 17-9, he has 13 KO’s and has been KO’d four times.
Hall has all the talent in the world, but he has always had a mental roadblock. With that said, he is on a four-fight win streak, and if there is ever a time to showcase his extremely high-pedigree, karate-based style, it would be now against a willing dance partner in the surging fighter that is Sean Strickland.
Strickland has been making his presence felt in the division in very big ways. With a 23 – 3 record, he has 10 KO’s and four submissions. After a two-year layoff, Strickland hasn’t lost a step.
Coming off his last win in 2018, he has strung together three more wins and is looking to really make a statement here against a tough and dangerous Hall. Strickland does have a certain persona about him that can get under peoples’ skin.
For example, in his fight against Jack Marshman, Strickland just kept sticking Marshman with strikes, and due to the durability of Marshman, Strickland was taunting him with verbal jabs. I found it a bit disrespectful, to be honest, but to each their own.
Strickland does a really good job with his disruption of your offense. He will extend his arms as a measuring stick for himself. He will use his hands to disrupt clear lanes of strikes, while moving forward slowly and getting his shots off in the process. It is a good, but risky approach against someone like Hall who is extremely seasoned and will throw a barrage of kicks. His approach may have to change a bit, or he could find himself on the wrong side of the win/loss column.
How I See This Fight Shaking Out
The reason why I am picking Strickland here is because although Hall has the chops to win this fight in many ways, he is just too accepting of position and being told where to move. He won’t really break stride. He will fight off his back foot, and when you get him against the cage, there is no real urgency to clear space and reset.
Hall can without a doubt knock you into next week if he sets you up properly and catches you, but Strickland is a mindful and cautious attacker. He won’t charge in, he won’t crash the pocket, and he will carefully crowd your striking lanes. I can see this frustrating Hall in many ways.
Strickland also does have some underrated grappling to fall back on if he feels like he is losing ground on the feet, but I am expecting this to be a very strategic chess match. The action level may be a bit low here and patience may take over, but I see Strickland eventually getting this one done.
The Pick: Strickland Late KO/TKO
- Strickland: $9300
- 100+ Points: 3 of 10
- Current Market Value: 4 of 10
- Hedge: 4-5
There is no doubt that Strickland is on a resurgence and he is making a great claim that he has arrived yet again. With that said, this is his toughest task to date when it comes to dynamic striking. Hall has the power and the ability to make anyone pause on the feet, and that is where this fight could get sluggish. Strickland has the opportunity to finish this fight late, but to say that the price tag doesn’t scare would be a lie.
- Hall: $6900
- 100+ Points: 1 of 10
- Current Market Value: 5 of 10
- Hedge: 3-4
There’s plenty of upside here, even though I am choosing him to lose. The fact is that this is a five-round fight, and Hall at sub 7K is value because he has the ability to outwork many people on the feet and has the power in all his limbs to shut them off. Enough said.
Vegas: No Play