uriah-hall.jpg(This story appeared in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

In 17 seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC’s long-running reality competition series has produced three world champions and nearly 200 UFC fighters. Uriah Hall might prove to be better than any of them.

“Every guy Uriah fought wound up in the hospital,” UFC President Dana White told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “The first fight to get into the house, he breaks the kid’s arm. Then he knocks out Adam Cella with an incredible spinning high kick, then he knocks out Bubba McDaniel and then Dylan Andrews had a broken nose. That’s never happened in the history of ‘TUF.’

“He is without a doubt the most-feared guy coming out of ‘TUF.’ Ever.”

Fighting professionally since 2005, Hall earned notoriety while competing for the New Jersey-based Ring of Combat promotion, where he earned a middleweight title.

The UFC then selected the 28-year-old as one of 28 contestants on “TUF 17.” The destruction of four opponents in the show’s exhibition fights followed.

“I didn’t picture it this way at all,” Hall said. “We’re living our dream, and it’s so amazing just to be actually in it. When you have a dream, you’re thinking about it, but when you’re actually living it out, it’s surreal.”

Hall (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his official UFC debut Saturday, when he meets fellow tournament finalist Kelvin Gastelum (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center (FX, 9 p.m. ET).

Hall is a heavy favorite, and while White points out nothing is guaranteed in MMA, he thinks the bout could mark the start of a special UFC career.

“We do have to wait and see, but Uriah does have a lot of experience. And if you look at his losses, one was to Chris Weidman, who’s fighting Anderson Silva in July for the title, and his other loss was to Costa Philippou, who is also legit,” White said. “No guy has come off any season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ looking as nasty as this guy has. People are on my Twitter saying, ‘This guy should go right to a title shot.’

“All of the fans have super-high expectations for Uriah.”

Hall realizes the buzz surrounding his debut.

He watched his Twitter account add more than 27,000 followers during the 12-week run of the FX-televised reality show. He has seen clips of his highlight-reel finishes spread across the Internet. And he knows he’s expected to not only win Saturday but also to do so in spectacular fashion.

Yet Hall insists he’s taking it all in stride.

“It’s good because it means people are watching. But I’m not trying to live up to anyone’s expectations,” Hall said. “All I have right now is the moment.

“It’s good to make plans, but you don’t know what’s going to happen when you wake up tomorrow. I have the now, and I’m enjoying the now.”

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Episode No. 5 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions'

  • 2 hours ago
  • 13 views

Episode five of “The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions” opens with UFC President Dana White praising the quality of the fights so far this season, noting all five bouts so far have ended i read news >>

Jake Ellenberger vs. Jorge Masvidal added to TUF 24 Finale

  • 59 minutes ago
  • 0 views

The Ultimate Fighter 24 finale is stacked with great fights, and now a welterweight war between Jake Ellenberger and Jorge Masvidal has been added.This season of The Ultimate Fighter is a very intere read news >>

Antolin looks to rep AKA with pride on The Ultimate Fighter

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 views

With a trio of current and former UFC champions around him at the American Kickboxing Academy, Adam Antolin was likely given marching orders for The Ultimate Fighter without Daniel Cormier, Cain Vela read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter 24: Ep. 1 Preview

  • 29 days ago
  • 22 views

For the first time ever, The Ultimate Fighter reality series will feature 16 champions, not prospects, vying for a shot at something each of these fighters crave - the UFC flyweight championship held read news >>

Georges St-Pierre Talks UFC Return, Dana White and Possible Comeback Opponents

  • 27 days ago
  • 110 views

Georges St-Pierre has reaffirmed his intention to make a full return to MMA and has hit back at suggestions from UFC President Dana White that he doesn’t have the desire to fight. The 35-year-old has read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter 24, Episode 1: Tournament of Champions Begins

  • 27 days ago
  • 157 views

The debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions aired on FS1 on Wednesday and two fighters advanced to the second round of the tournament. read news >>

Kim and Nelson to Headline UFC's Return to Belfast

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC® announced today that No.10-ranked “The Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim will take on No.12 Gunnar "Gunni” Nelson in Belfast on Saturday November 19 at the SSE Arena. read news >>

UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem Fantasy Cheat Sheet

  • 24 days ago
  • 2 views

In today's fantasy preview, we're going to examine some of these fights to see who has the edge going into Saturday night and if there might be an upset brewing on the card as UFC 203: Miocic vs. Ove read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter 24: Ep. 2 Preview

  • 22 days ago
  • 23 views

Cultures in the house clash and worlds collide in the Octagon as the Shooto champ takes on the South African warrior. Don't miss an all-new The Ultimate Fighter on FS1 at 10pm/7pm ETPT tonight. read news >>

Dana White Says Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone Signed for UFC 205 in New York

  • 21 days ago
  • 48 views

Dana White says an exciting bout between Robbie Lawler and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone has been inked for UFC 205 in New York. read news >>