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Uriah Hall: On the cusp of greatness at UFC 198 

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From the set of The Ultimate Fighter to Curitiba, Brazil, Uriah Hall is ready to make a statement. 

During season 17 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, there was a man who struck fear into his fellow cast mates as well as fighters around the world. Uriah Hall was was a fighter who moved and did things inside the cage that the MMA audience had not seen been done by anyone else than Anderson Silva which immediately drew attention.

Hall destroyed all of his opponents during the season and only fell at the last hurdle against Kelvin Gastelum in the Finale. Now 8 fights into his UFC career Hall is gearing up to face the man who very many compared Hall’s striking and movement to while on the show. That of the long time middleweight King Anderson Silva.

Hall and Silva will dance inside the 8 walls of the UFC’s octagon this Saturday, May 14, in Silva’s backyard of Curitiba Brazil. A fight which is bringing a huge amount of attention to the 31-year old Jamaican-born Hall.

For Hall, his journey as a mixed martial artist began with his love of two of the most renowned martial artists in the world. Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme were the inspiration that started the wheels in motion for Hall. That and copying the moves he saw while playing Tekken, the world famous video game based on different martial arts.

I’ve always been fascinated with martial arts since I was a kid. I have always loved the whole coolness of it. Bruce Lee, (Jean-Claude) Van Damme was actually the guy who got me started because of the kicks. I love to kick. 

I learned how to fight from a video game. A video game called Tekken. I was teaching myself, I would practise playing Tekken, record it, watch it over again and do the moves in my living room.

Regardless of where or how he got the skills, the most important thing to note is that Hall can use them. And has used them well in his 5 UFC wins over the likes of Gegard Mousasi, Chris Leben, Ron Stallings and Thiago Santos. Last in action at UFC 193 in Australia last November, Hall dropped a decision to another rising star and fellow TUF alum, Robert Whittaker.

Immediately looking to bounce back, Hall had initially asked for a fight with Michael Bisping, who last fought and beat Silva, at UFC 200 but instead was offered to fight his Anderson Silva, who like many, Hall watched and idolised as a young fighter.

I guess I just look at him like an idol. I remember meeting him backstage when I fought Chris Leben. He actually gave me words of inspiration and encouragement. 

Having dropped some close and tough fights in his UFC career Hall seems to be in a good place ahead of his toughest career challenge. A win over Silva would be enormous for Hall and would shoot him into future title contention.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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