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 ( 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 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

Jose Aldo's retirement threats are for real - 'TUF Talk'

  • 28 days ago

Jose Aldo's jiu jitsu coach, Ronaldo Candido, says the former featherweight champion isn't joking about retiring from the UFC after it was announced Conor McGregor would face Eddie Alvarez in read news >>

Kenny Florian does a perfect impression of Conor McGregor - 'TUF Talk'

  • 28 days ago

Rashad Evans and Kenny Florian give their best UFC impressions, including Conor McGregor, Alistair Overeem and Bigfoot Silva. read news >>

Jake Ellenberger vs. Jorge Masvidal added to TUF 24 Finale

  • 28 days ago

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 >>

Kailin Curran vs. newcomer Jamie Moyle booked for December's TUF 24 Finale in Las Vegas

  • 28 days ago

December’s latest installment of an “Ultimate Fighter” finale card has its latest booking, and it comes in the women’s strawweight division. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Jake Collier-Josh Stansbury, Elvis Mutapcic-Anthony Smith booked for TUF 24 Finale in December

  • 28 days ago

The TUF 24 Finale in December continues to build with the addition of a pair of middleweight fights to the lineup. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Here's Matt Schnell and Karyn Bryant in their MTV days | TUF Talk

  • 21 days ago

TUF contestant Matt Schnell and host Karyn Bryant share a previous employer. read news >>

Matt Schnell, Anthony Pettis talk all things TUF | TUF Talk

  • 21 days ago

Anthony Pettis and Matt Schnell discuss Schnells win over Matt Rizzo, living in the TUF house, Sergio Pettis and more. read news >>

Matt Schnell breaks down his fight with Matt Rizzo from TUF 24

  • 21 days ago

Matt Schnell gives insight into his win this past week on TUF read news >>

Can Michael Bisping End the TUF Curse on Saturday Night? | FIGHTLAND

  • 21 days ago

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC Michael “The Count” Bisping’s stirring victory at UFC 199 over nemesis (well, one of many) Luke Rockhold was the perfect way to open a new chapter in the long, storied read news >>

UFC 204 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into TUF: Latin America 3 Finale

  • 17 days ago

UFC 204 is in the books. The results are as follows: Michael Bisping defeats Dan Henderson by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) Gegard Mousasi defeats Vitor Belfort by TKO at 2:43 of the secon read news >>