Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale blew the roof off the Mandalay Bay Events Center last Saturday night (April 13, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Many combatants were left licking their wounds after a wild night of fights including Miesha Tate, who got her face rearranged thanks to Cat Zingano's knees (watch it again here), and Scott Jorgensen, who went down thanks to Urijah Faber's crafty submission game (highlights here).
The fight to crown the newest "Ultimate Fighter" was expected to be a one way-beat down thanks to Hall's impressive run inside the TUF house. But, Kelvin Gastelum, the last fighter to be picked at the beginning of the season, proved that "hype" doesn't win fights.
Kelvin came out with a purpose right from the get-go, pushing the pace from beginning to end. (See how it went down here). It seemed Hall -- a sizable favorite -- wasn't all there, and it showed as Gastelum displayed superior wrestling skills by taking down the bigger foe at will.
So what went wrong for Uriah?
Personally, I'm not buying it.
I think Hall was already looking past Gastelum, while imagining riding off into the sunset on his new Harley Davidson motorcycle. I mean, according to White, Hall was the most intimidating fighter to ever go through TUF and was already being talked about as a top 10 middleweight contender that could actually be ready to challenge division champ Anderson Silva.
Speaking of Silva, Hall spent plenty of time channeling his inner-Anderson by leaning his back against the cage, much like the 185-pound kingpin did against Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153. If that isn't at least a little case of showboating, I don't know what is.
The results, however, didn't mirror those of the middleweight champion. Why? Hall -- unlike Silva -- failed to lets his fists and kicks go.
Hall did show flashes of brilliance as he suplexed Kelvin and connected with some powerful leg kicks. But, the underdog took Uriah's best hits -- when he actually managed to pop off some offense -- and kept pressing forward. Because of his will and tenacity, the undefeated (6-0) Gastelum was able to earn a split decision and a six-figure contract with the world's preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.
"Prime Time," on the other hand, was left to start from scratch. He may still have a long career inside the Octagon and despite the loss, I have a feeling the UFC hype machine will find a way to promote him a bit more than Gastelum.
Just a hunch.
So, where does Hall go from here?
A bout against Ed Herman sounds good. "Short Fuse" was last seen tapping to Ronaldo Souza in the first round at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine earlier this year. Herman carries with him a decent name and wealth of experience that would provide a sound challenge for Hall and UFC officials wouldn't need to match Uriah up against a top ten opponent.
A fight he doesn't deserve, yet.