Going into the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, finalist Uriah Hall was labeled by UFC President Dana White as the most impressive competitor to ever grace the competition and Chael Sonnen as ready-made for a rumble with elite opposition. However, last night Hall looked like anything BUT a contender other than the occasional flash of brilliance, and as it turned out “Prime Time” wasn’t actually ready for primetime.
Hall lost a Split Decision to Kelvin Gastelum – an undersized, underdog – and struggled to fire on all cylinders from the opening bell on. White was asked about the performance after the event’s conclusion, telling Fuel TV he felt Hall’s stumble was the result of psychology rather than physical ability.
“People on Twitter were calling for a fight with him and Anderson Silva already. And he deserved the hype. The question becomes, can you handle the pressure? And what it looked like to me was, when he came out tonight, he folded under the pressure like he didn’t even want to be in there. He didn’t even wake up until the second round. And we saw hints, little pieces of Uriah Hall tonight, but that’s about it. And Kelvin came out ready to take him out.”
“I don’t think if you watched last season of The Ultimate Fighter you would over-hype Uriah Hall. But, the one thing that you never know, you can have a guy who’s incredibly talented, but what’s going to happen to him when he gets into that pressure cooker? That one moment when it all matters. That’s where the guys who become world champions really shine. Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre and the list goes on and on of guys who really don’t fold under pressure.”
SOURCE: Fuel TV
PHOTO CREDIT: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports