Most people expected middleweight Uriah Hall to be hoisting the Ultimate Fighter 17 trophy up above his head at the conclusion of his clash with fellow finalist Kelvin Gastelum this past Saturday night. However, it was the undersized underdog who exited the Octagon with the title of TUF 17 champ instead of the potential-laden favorite.
UFC President Dana White was asked about Hall’s performance by the Fuel TV post-show crew, saying the man he’d labeled as the most impressive he’d seen in eight years of the reality show was seemingly blinded by the spotlight planted squarely on his shoulders since a fantastic finish of Adam Cella during the season.
“People on Twitter were calling for a fight with him and Anderson Silva already. And he deserved the hype. The question becomes, can you handle the pressure? And what it looked like to me was, when he came out tonight – on the show he came out like a killer – and tonight he folded under the pressure like he didn’t even want to be in there,” assessed the outspoken executive. “He didn’t even wake up until the second round. And we saw hints, little pieces of Uriah Hall tonight, but that’s about it. And Kelvin came out ready to take him out.”
“I don’t think if you watched last season of The Ultimate Fighter you would ‘over-hype’ Uriah Hall. But, the one thing that you never know, you can have a guy who’s incredibly talented, but what’s going to happen to him when he gets into that pressure cooker…that one moment when it all matters? That’s where the guys who become world champions really shine; the Anderson Silvas and Georges St-Pierres and the list goes on and on of guys who really don’t fold under pressure,” White concluded.
White’s full thoughts on the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale can be found below:
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY/UFC