TUF is always a bit of a strange place when it comes to the fights fans get to see on TV. Fewer rounds, less preparation, and changes in training environment and weight cutting tend to bring out different things for different fighters. One of the big things fans tend to see is, just what is a fighter's go-to skill set. When they haven't had a full camp, aren't training for a specific opponent, what do they look for? When the fighter in question is Ryan Hall, the answer is leglocks.
Hall talked about his love of the 50/50 guard and leg lock grappling with Luke Thomas for MMAFighting's Technique Talk and how it might even have more application to his MMA career:
"I would say the thought process of the aggressor and the opposition is definitely in mixed martial arts than it is in jiu-jitsu in a way I feel makes the position more effective. In jiu-jitsu you're dealing with people who three quarters of the time want to latch onto you, hang on for 10 minutes and hopefully win by advantage. It gets very lame. In MMA, because of the punches and because of the ability to attack your opponent in a variety of ways, I think it keeps them a little more honest and you're much more likely to see an aggressive battle in such a situation that allows for more attacking and aggressive opportunities.
"You can always get punched in the head, but I would submit that the jiu-jitsu that's done in MMA is not high level. Most of the guys going for leglocks in MMA are not terribly good at them, which is why they get beat up. That's not to say someone with a very high level of skill in foot locks of jiu-jitsu couldn't get beat up, but it's the little differences. You put little gloves on Floyd Mayweather, I don't care who he's fighting, he's going to knock your freaking head off. It wouldn't really matter that the gloves are small because the level is so high.
"The ability to hit something hard doesn't make a great striker the same way an ability to break a leg does not make a great leg locker. I think that's something that been seen thus far because you'll see a lot guys go kamikaze for the legs. As people get more and more used to the position and they're utilizing effectively they're jiu-jitsu and leg locks in MMA, you'll see them getting beat up a little bit less because they won't commit unless they are pretty darn certain they're going to get it."
You can check out the entire interview here, and follow along with TUF 22 and our live discussions every Wednesday at 10 pm EST/7 pm PST on Bloody Elbow.