As the old adage goes, “It’s all fun and games until you lose.” Or is it, “It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt”? In any event, losing is no fun.
Neither is failing to live up to lofty expectations and essentially being dubbed a choker and mental midget by your potential boss. That’s where “The Ultimate Fighter 17” favorite Uriah Hall (pictured) now finds himself after a lackluster defeat to 3-to-1 underdog Kelvin Gastelum in the middleweight tournament finals.
As it turns out, Hall’s friendship with Gastelum played a role in his ability to posterize another opponent inside the Octagon – something Hall had done in his two prior tourney bouts.
“I was trying to have some fun, man,” Hall stated at the post-fight press conference. “A big part of it was it was kind of hard, too. I trained with [Gastelum], and I like him. It was kind of that emotion I was trying to get rid of, so it was kind of weird.
“Going in the ring, I was like, ‘[Expletive], here we go again.’ That side just kind of got the best of me, but there’s no excuse. Kelvin’s a great guy, a tough kid. I think he’s going to go really far in this sport and I’m happy for him.”
Despite owning just a 7-2 professional record entering the reality show, some fans were ready to pit Hall against middleweight king Anderson Silva based off the highlight reel footage he created heading into the TUF finals. UFC president Dana White certainly didn’t help derail the hoopla train when he previously called Hall “the most feared guy to come out of TUF, ever.”
Now it’s back to the drawing board for Hall, who will most likely get another crack in the big leagues after cracking under the pressure of the UFC’s bright spotlight.