Recent seasons of the Ultimate Fighter haven’t produced very many long-term stars for the UFC. Luckily, I think this season has a big star in the making. Uriah Hall has produced some of the better highlight-reel knockouts of the year during his time on the show. His best moment came in the third episode when he knocked out Adam Cella with a spinning-back kick. Cella dropped like a ton of bricks in what I think is the best KO of the year.
But, it is easy to forget that Hall also busted up Bubba McDaniel’s eye and basically stopped Dylan Andrews with his overwhelming offense. He has almost single-handedly elevated this season of The Ultimate Fighter to a level it hasn’t reached in the past few years. Dana White commented that Hall might even be the “meanest” guy ever to come through the Ultimate Fighter house.
Hall has serious potential to become not only a top fighter, but an exciting, high-level contender. On April 13, 2013, he will take on Kevin Gastelum in Las Vegas for the Ultimate Fighter Finale. Though Hall is 28, he cut his teeth in the Ring of Combat promotion which has produced such top fighters as Frankie Edgar and Chris Weidman. His only career losses have come to guys who are currently in the top 10 in the Middleweight Division. He lost to Chris Weidman, who has a chance to become the UFC champion. He also lost to Costa Philippou who is coming off a TKO win to Tim Boetsch.
Also of note is the fact that Hall comes from Queens, New York: if New York passes legislation allowing MMA in the state, Hall can prove to be a valuable asset in the area. He has already gained a large amount of notoriety as the gif of his knockout over Cella circulated throughout social media. If he can beat Gastelum on Saturday, he will solidify himself as one of the more popular and exciting prospects to come out of TUF in a long time. Though TUF has failed to produce stars recently, it can still be a good venue to showcase prospects as long as they can provide exciting fights. Hall has definitely done that; in doing so he helped elevate The Ultimate Fighter: Season 17 to higher ratings and reviews than recent seasons of The Ultimate Fighter.