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. 11 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions'

  • 9 days ago
  • 47 views

Episode No. 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions” opens with UFC President Dana White discussing the semifinal round, which starts with a matchup between No. 1 Alexandre Pantoja of read news >>

TUF 24 Finale official weigh-in video and photos from Las Vegas

  • a day ago
  • 7 views

LAS VEGAS – The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale official fighter weigh-ins took place today, and MMAjunkie was on scene for the proceedings.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter Finale: Fantasy Cheat Sheet

  • 2 days ago
  • 0 views

In today's fantasy preview, we'll examine some of the key fights on this card to see who comes out on top in some of these ultra competitive matchups and if there might be an upset brewing at The Ult read news >>

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 88: Conor McGregor, UFC changes, MMAAA, The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale

  • a day ago
  • 3 views

Episode No. 88 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast, featuring talk on Conor McGregor, more UFC changes, the MMA Athletes Association and The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, is now available f read news >>

Video: Watch today's TUF 24 Finale ceremonial weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 6 p.m. ET

  • a day ago
  • 12 views

LAS VEGAS – The TUF 24 Finale ceremonial fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).Filed under: News, UFC, Vide read news >>

Bellator 166 live video stream and official results (7:15 p.m. ET)

  • a day ago
  • 8 views

Bellator 166 takes place today, and you can join us for a live video stream and official results beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET (4:15 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Bellator 167 weigh-in results and live stream (5:30 p.m. ET)

  • a day ago
  • 16 views

The weigh-ins for Saturday’s Bellator 167 event take place today, and you can watch a live stream on MMAjunkie at 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Picks

  • a day ago
  • 5 views

Tim Elliott is on the precipice of one of the best comeback stories in UFC history. The talented flyweight lost three tough fights in a row in the Octagon and was cut from the roster. He then won thr read news >>

Watch The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale Weigh-in Live at 6 PM ET | MMAWeekly.com

  • a day ago
  • 4 views

Watch The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale weigh-in streaming live from Las Vegas at 6 p.m. ET. See the fighters on the scales before Saturday's event. read news >>

UFC's Roy Nelson publicly apologizes to ref John McCarthy after post-fight kick-push

  • a day ago
  • 10 views

LAS VEGAS – UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson today apologized for kick-pushing referee John McCarthy at UFC Fight Night 95, which could clear the way for a reduced punishment from a Brazil’s sports court.F read news >>