To be fair this matchup, which fans and observers probably hate on the main card, Stallings is replacing the injured Loui Taylor on 7 day's notice, who is himself replacing the injured Costa Philippou. Yet we have what should be a solid little action fight against all odds.
The Match Up
Middleweight Uriah Hall 9-4 vs. Ron Stallings 12-6
Uriah Hall -840 vs. Ron Stallings +660
3 Things You Should Know
1. Uriah Hall is finally beginning the find his groove with two consecutive wins over Chris Leben and Thiago Santos. It's not much, but he's finally looking like the kid Dana White went ga ga over on TUF. Sort of.
Hall is like that kid in grade school who somehow gets connected to silly rumors, like that he was seen eating his own boogers with some fava beans and a nice chianti. It doesn't matter who he becomes: it only matters what he once was. Hall is functionally that kid. It will never matter what he does from here on out. He's still gonna be the fighter who everyone thought was the second coming of 'insert your favorite historical prophet here' that never justified the commotion.
I still suspect that Hall's problems have been mental. Yes, the competition was different, but he also fought different. Whereas on the show Hall fought urgently, and to move the needle up the TUF ladder, Hall fought more conservatively in the octagon, afraid to fall down the UFC ladder. Lately it's been coming together for him. And it's important to recall that Kelvin Gastelum has turned into quite the threat at WW. There's no shame losing that bout.
2. That doesn't describe John Howard. Which is who Stallings compares fore favorably too.
It's clear that Stallings should be fighting someone else, but here we are. Now that a few more people know who Stallings is, perhaps he'll know what it's like to be guilty by association. I'd like to say that Stallings has a chance because he trains with a good camp under a respected coach but instead he's with Team Lloyd Irvin, training with Mike Easton and James Vick, being coached by the human pondscum that is Lloyd Irvin. Sorry Ron, but not many people are in your corner until you sever all ties, and that certainly includes me. For whatever it's marginally worth.
3. The oddsmakers are correct, but there's probably an extra hundred for hating Lloyd Irvin too.
Stallings has all finishes in victory. Which tells you a little bit about his game on paper: he's reasonably well rounded, but mostly he has a good nose for capitalizing on opportunities handed to him.
However, in practice his last name gives you context clues about his behavior. He's not a particularly active fighter, and like Howard, can be patient to a fault. Most importantly for this fight, he's just a dreadful stylisitic matchup. Hall has always succeeded against fighters who gave him space, time to set up, and who possess rigid movement. This describes Stallings to a T. His footwork is incredibly stiff, nor does he move his head much.
Ron is a reasonable grappler. He's got access to a very solid little double leg, and knows his way around the submission game. However, his setups are atrocious, and he doesn't force the grappling exchanges like he should. Hall should have an easy time setting up the exotic strikes he's come to be known for. Hall's punching power will be the key difference here. And it will be the key highlight as a result.
Uriah Hall by TKO, spinning backfist round 1.