- TUF Finale 17
Uriah Hall chokes on big stage, Faber & Zingano win
Billed as the new Anderson Silva by some, tipped as the man to finally dethrone Silva by others, Uriah Hall appeared to let the hype and circumstance get to his head as he lost the TUF 17 Finale to Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday.
On a night that also saw Miesha Tate stunned by Cat Zingano, it was an evening for unexpected results at the Mandalay Bay, but none more so than the split decision loss suffered by Hall. Gastelum undoubtedly deserved it, but Hall inflicted part of the defeat on himself.
All the Anderson Silva-like impressions were there. He dropped his hands, he voluntarily pinned his back to the Octagon and he attempted a series of flashy strikes.
The problem was Hall - on this night at least - was a very poor imitation of the world's greatest fighter.
Rarely did he dominate the centre of the Octagon with those thunderous strikes that saw him plant fear in the eyes of all who had to meet him on the TUF 17 show itself. Too often Hall ceded ground - as if to prove he could beat Gastelum whenever he chose.
Gastelum had his own agenda. A booming left hand rocked Hall in the first, takedowns and ground control scored points throughout, and when it came to Octagon control and aggression, the fight was his.
Hall had his moments, reversing superbly on more than one occasion. Adversity actually prompted his best action. In round two he reversed and pounded on Gastelum without getting the finish, but when he needed to pour it on in the third, he went back to the showboating.
Elsewhere, Cat Zingano confirmed herself as a coach on the next TUF series, stopping Miesha Tate at 2.55 of round three in a superb women's bantamweight clash. Tate had been the favourite and threatened to submit or TKO Zingano in each of the first two rounds, but Zingano came out strong in the third and landed a series of brutal knees before one final elbow finished off a bloodied Tate.
Urijah Faber remains near the top of the tree in the men's 135lb division, planting a rear naked choke on Scott Jorgensen at 3.16 of round four. Faber controlled much of the fight with his exceptional grappling, and cemented his place in the division's top-four.
Also notable on the night was the heavyweight finish of Travis Browne, who unloaded a catalogue of nasty elbows on Gabriel Gonzaga as the Brazilian looked for a single-leg.
TUF 17 Finale resultsUrijah Faber bt Scott Jorgensen via rear naked choke at 3.16 of round 4
Kelvin Gastelum bt Uriah Hall via split decision (29-28 28-29 29-28)
Cat Zingano bt Miesha Tate via TKO at 2.55 of round 3
Travis Browne bt Gabriel Gonzaga via KO at 1:11 of round 1
Bubba McDaniel bt Gilbert Smith via triangle choke at 2.49 of round 3
Josh Samman bt Kevin Casey via TKO at 2:17 of round 2
Luke Barnatt bt Collin Hart via unanimous decision (30-27 29-28 29-28)
Dylan Andrews bt Jimmy Quinlan via TKO at 3:22 of round 1
Clint Hester bt Bristol Marunde via TKO at 3:53 of round 3
Cole Miller bt Bart Palaszewski via rear naked choke at 4:23 of round 1
Maximo Blanco bt Sam Sicilia via unanimous decision (29-28 29-28 29-28)
Daniel Pineda bt Justin Lawrence via kimura at 1:35 of round 1