Uriah Hall gutted out a hard fought split decision at UFC Fight Night in Vancouver to earn his second win in a row and third out of his last four fights.
The one time “Ultimate Fighter” finalist had to survive some scary moments on the ground with Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Antonio Carlos Junior but it was ultimately a dominant striking showcase that got him the victory. The judges scored the fight 29-28 twice in Hall’s favor with the third giving Carlos Junior the nod by that same 29-28 score.
“I still feel like I didn’t get to do as much because when you’re in here, there’s so many things going on,” Hall said about his performance.
It was a classic battle of striker versus grappler as Hall was quick to set up his boxing combinations as he battered the Brazilian with a series of punches that appeared to bust up his nose.
Carlos Junior was able to survive the early barrage and then work his way inside to jump on Hall’s back where he began looking for his signature submissions. Hall stayed patient until he could break free to reset in the center where he started putting his jab right back into Carlos Junior’s face.
Late in the opening round, Carlos Junior managed a takedown of his own to slow the pace and put Hall on his back but he ran out of time before he could do any real damage.
Hall looked for a similar strategy to start round two as he once again began firing off a series of straight punches that snapped Carlos Junior’s head back. While the American Top Team fighter was able to slow down the action with the clinch, Hall came roaring back with a nasty combination that cracked Carlos Junior and sent him down to the ground.
Hall looked for the finish but once he knew that Carlos Junior wasn’t going away, he opted not to put himself in a position where he could be in danger from a multi-time grappling champion.
Knowing he could be down on the scorecards, Carlos Junior wasted no time taking the fight into his world on the ground at the start of the final round as he almost immediately rushed forward and dragged Hall to the canvas. Carlos Junior maintained a dominant position on the back but he couldn’t advance his submission attempts, which left the fighters in a stalemate for the majority of the five-minute session.
In the end, Hall’s ability to drop Carlos Junior along with the damage done in the opening round when he broke his nose helped secure the victory.
Afterwards, Hall wasted no time looking towards the top of the middleweight division for a dream fight he’s always wanted.
“Well if I really want to be honest, Israel Adesanya, I’m coming,” Hall shouted. “Whoever the UFC needs to put in front of me, whoever the UFC needs me to beat, I’m coming.”