Every once in a while, a raw talent steps into the Octagon and you know they're destined for greatness.
When current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones made his presence felt inside the eight-walled cage with his flashy moves and seemingly effortless, yet, impressive victories, people expected "Bones" to be a star in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).
When Uriah Hall stormed through The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) house thanks to his impressive wins and highlight reel knockout of Adam Cella, fans and coaches alike felt the Jamaican-born fighter would be the next big thing in MMA.
But, if you ask him, he isn't a celebrity by any means. He's just a fighter trying to navigate his way through the tough obstacles that presents themselves on his path to greatness in the sport of MMA. And while he appreciates the fame and publicity, Hall says he is just a regular guy.
He breaks it down to Rick J. Lee:
"A lot of people ask me, ‘Did you gain anything from this (TUF experience) or any of that stuff?' For me, personally, I think generally I am the same person. The publicity is there. The fame is somewhat there. But, I don't think I'm anywhere close to that. People call me a celebrity and I'm just a regular guy, man. I'm just trying to make it in this sport. I love this sport. I can say that my life is pretty much the same. And I'm just trying to make it, like the rest of these top guys out there."
After three consecutive knockout wins earned him a trip to the middleweight finale, Hall came up short at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale against dark horse Kelvin Gastelum. While Uriah didn't make the splash in his official debut like many hoped he would, he learned a valuable lesson in defeat.
"I've learned that it's okay to fail and I also learned that there are a lot of fake people out there. Right now, what's next for me is making it to the next level. Going on the show, I stepped out of my comfort zone. And, I've read that once you step out of your comfort zone, your life begins. And, I think I'm out of my comfort zone again, but, it's a new chapter, that's how I look at it. I don't have anything set. I have a couple of things I have to work on first before I give the guys the heads up that I want to get back in there. Just a few things I feel I have to take care of and once I'm done with that, I'm ready to go."
Looking to work out a few kinks in his fight game, Uriah prefers to take his time before he steps back into the cage in efforts to erase the memory of his loss in "Sin City."
Whether he considers himself a celebrity or not, Uriah has made a name for himself in the hurt business and upon his return to action, he won't have a shortage of opponents ready to make a name for themselves at his expense. Who is next challenge is, remains to be seen.