kelvin-gastelum-5.jpgLAS VEGAS – Uriah Hall doesn’t want to make excuses for his runner-up finish on “The Ultimate Fighter 17,” but the heavy favorite and runaway star of the reality series admits the mental aspect of the fight weighed on him heavily.

Hall used a series of highlight-reel finishes to advance to the 28-man middleweight tournament’s final, which co-headlined The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on Saturday at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

But Hall (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) ultimately dropped a split decision to Kelvin Gastelum (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), one of his teammates on a squad coached by Chael Sonnen. While Hall took some criticism for his performance, which appeared unfocused at times, he said he was simply trying to shake off the nerves that come with fighting a friend.

“I was trying to have some fun, man,” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the fight. “A big part of it was it was it was kind of hard, too. I trained with the guy, 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, ‘S—, here we go again.’ That side just kind of got the best of me, but there’s no excuse. Kelvin’s a great guy. He’s a tough kid. I think he’s going to go really far in this sport, and I’m happy for him.”

Most will certainly view it as a major setback for Hall, whom UFC President Dana White had compared to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The company boss told MMAjunkie.com prior to the bout that no “TUF” cast member had ever been so feared or generated so much buzz during the reality show.

Gastelum, though, at least temporarily derailed Hall’s hype train.

Even after his surprise win, Gastelum seemed in disbelief.

“Obviously I’m excited,” he said. “I’m blessed to be in the position I’m in. It’s just very emotional.”

But like Hall, Gastelum said their personal relationship did affect the fight. However, he wasn’t about to spoil an unexpected opportunity. Even after he defeated Kito Andrews in an elimination-round bout, Gastelum prompted few believers. He was the final draft pick among the 14 cast members, and against Hall, he was a nearly 3-to-1 underdog.

So to actually advance to the tourney final, the Arizona-based wrestler was determined not to let Hall snatch away something that was within his grasp.

“During the show, he was a great friend, and we trained together a lot,” he said. “But my preparation for this fight, mentally, he’s trying to take something that I think I deserve and something that I earned here tonight, and that’s how I went into the fight.

“He’s trying to take something that I got, and I’m not going to let anybody take that away from me.”

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Kelvin Gastelum)

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

The Complete Guide to UFC Fight Night 90 and TUF 23 Finale

  • 27 days ago
  • 50 views

International Fight Week begins with a pair of stacked cards in the lead-up to UFC 200. On Thursday, July 7, the UFC's Fight Pass platform plays host to a fun Fight Night event headlined by a lightwe read news >>

The Complete Guide to UFC Fight Night 90 and TUF 23 Finale

  • 27 days ago
  • 7 views

International Fight Week begins with a pair of stacked cards in the lead-up to UFC 200. On Thursday, July 7, the UFC's Fight Pass platform plays host to a fun Fight Night event headlined by a lightwe read news >>

By the Numbers – TUF 23 Finale

  • 27 days ago
  • 62 views

Go inside the numbers of The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, featuring a main event title fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha. read news >>

TUF 23 Primer: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha Head-to-Toe Breakdown

  • 25 days ago
  • 97 views

No. 1-ranked* Joanna Jedrzejczyk (11-0) and No. 2-ranked Claudia Gadelha (13-1) will be set to continue their feud at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale. The two previously met in a closely contested tit read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Video: Claudia Gadelha – The Championship is Coming Home

  • 25 days ago
  • 16 views

Top ranked women's Strawweight Claudia Gadelha believes that she is the perfect fighter to dethrone undefeated champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and bring the belt home to Brazil. read news >>

UFC 200 Video: Kelvin Gastelum – Warrior Code

  • 23 days ago
  • 8 views

Hear welterweight contender Kelvin Gastelum talk about why he loves MMA and what the first few years of his young career have meant to him as a fighter and a person. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Joe Rogan Video Preview: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha

  • 22 days ago
  • 39 views

UFC commentator Joe Rogan previews one of the biggest rivalries in MMA, as Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha fight in a rematch for the strawweight title. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 90 & TUF 23 Finale: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Predictions

  • 21 days ago
  • 19 views

UFC 200 comes our way on Saturday, but the UFC will also give us two additional events in the days preceding the stacked card. Each card features a UFC championship on the line. UFC Fight Night 90 ta read news >>

TUF 23 Finale: Jedrzejczyk vs. Gadelha Full Live Results and Fight Stats

  • 21 days ago
  • 41 views

Follow along for TUF 23 Finale: Jedrzejczyk vs. Gadelha full live results and fight stats. First fight is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Friday, July 8. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Weigh-in Results: Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha Step Out of the Shadow to Make Weight

  • 20 days ago
  • 16 views

In the shadows of a crazy 24 hours, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha made weight to make their TUF 23 Finale title fight official. read news >>