World MMA Middleweight Scouting Report: #8 - Uriah Hall

Athleticism is a term that's normally used to describe fighters who are superior in speed, strength, and power. Super athletes like Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones are two fighters that come to mind who stand out in more recent memory, but we rarely hear about future fighters who might fall into the same category. At #8 on our list, Uriah Hall (4-1) is the kind of athlete who may be spoken of in that company in the future.

Offensive Skills: Hall's offensive arsenal consists of an extensive background in Karate and Muay Thai. His athleticism on top of that ferocious combination of striking skills makes him one of the more promising talents for the future. If you've seen Hall fight during his days with the World Combat League, you've probably watched him dismantle opponent after opponent with powerful counter-punching and kicks.

On the ground, Hall needs some work, most notably in the grappling department. While that power and athleticism is advantageous from the top position, Chris Weidman proved that Hall didn't have much to offer when he was on the bottom.

Defensive Skills: As aforementioned, Hall's defense from his back is a major weakness. On the feet, his veteran status as an elite striker ranks him as one of the better defenders to incoming attacks, and his takedown defense has the potential to be very difficult for wrestlers to power through if he can develop his technique more.

Progression: With only five professional fights under his belt, it's hard to say where Uriah fits in the overall landscape of prospects in the middleweight division. It's evident in those match-ups that he is still trying to transition all of his techniques in the striking department to mixed martial arts, and his ground tactics need the most attention if he wants to become a complete fighter.

Right now, he hasn't progressed as one would hope, but injuries have plagued him in the recent year. If he can remain healthy, the 26-year-old should be able to string together some solid wins while also progressing to a level in which he can keep fights on the feet and punish his opponents.

Environment: Hall currently trains out of Team Tiger Schulmann, mostly known for housing former Bellator champion Lyman Good. The camp also houses current WEC fighter Nick Pace and probable WEC bantamweight Jimmie Rivera. Schulmann is considered one of the top karate experts in the world, and you can take one look at some of the results his fighters have amassed to see that his training is effective in breeding world class strikers. With that said however, mixed martial arts is much more dynamic than simple one-two combinations and kicks.

Lightweight Welterweight Middleweight
#1 - Thiago Michel
#2 - Ricardo Tirloni
#3 - Magno Almeida
#4 - Ui Cheol Nam
#5 - Henrique Mello
#6 - Reza Madadi
#7 - Alexander Sarnavskiy
#8 - Ole Laursen
#9 - Guillaume DeLorenzi
#10 - Al Iaquinta
#1 - Yuri Villefort
#2 - Alex Garcia
#3 - Erick Silva
#4 - Douglas Lima
#5 - Luis "Sapo" Santos
#6 - Jesse Juarez
#7 - Gunnar Nelson
#8 - Quinn Mulhern
#9 - Alberto Mina
#10 - Joe Ray
#8 - Uriah Hall
#9 - Victor O'Donnell
#10 - Assan Njie

Potential: Uriah's striking is very dangerous, and his speed and athleticism, in my opinion, have hurt his chances of signing contracts to fight regional competitors. There just aren't enough rising prospects who feel the need to have their legs kicked to death and their chins tested, and that speaks volumes for what Uriah Hall brings to the table when he fights. Unfortunately, it isn't helping him get the exposure he deserves.

Uriah isn't a well-rounded fighter by any means, but his imposing strength and explosiveness has the potential to be devastating to any opponent put in front of him. The counter to that style, however, comes in the form of a wrestler or a grappler who can shoot for takedowns. Uriah's bout with Weidman served as a perfect example of what a highly-credentialed wrestler can do simply because he has a history in amateur wrestling. Weidman eventually pounded out Hall against the fence, but Hall's hesitance to unload his hands was caused by the idea that Weidman would shoot whenever possible. He tried and failed, but eventually caught Hall flush on the chin and nearly knocked him out.

Uriah will need to improve to a point in which he can unload strikes and defend takedowns in a seamless transition. If he can't master those skills, he's going to be at the mercy of fighters who have above average wrestling skills, and in the North American circuit -- there are plenty of fighters who fit that mold.

Uriah Hall vs. Mike Iannone

Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman

Uriah Hall highlight

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