Uriah Hall is set to put his four-fight win streak on the line against Sean Strickland, who is also riding a four-fight win streak.
Top middleweight fighters headline UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Saturday as No. 8 ranked Uriah Hall will met No. 11 Sean Strickland in a main event showdown. Current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has already powered through most of the top-ranked fighters in the division, so a dominant win by either fighter on Saturday should put the winner within one fight of a title shot for sometime in 2022.
Uriah Hall UFC Fight Night Odds
Hall (17-9 MMA record) battled inconsistency throughout his early UFC career, so much so, it looked like he might be dropped in 2016 after three straight losses, including two first-round TKOs. Since then, however, the 36-year-old has rattled off five wins in six fights and comes into Saturday on a four-fight win streak. Hall’s last fight against Chris Weidman resulted in a gruesome leg injury to Weidman when Hall checked his opponent’s kick with his knee 17 seconds into the fight. The resulting TKO made Hall the first fighter in UFC history to win a fight without throwing a single strike.
“Prime Time” is as unpredictable and explosive as they come. He’s a talented knockout specialist with 13 of his 17 wins coming from KO/TKO. That bodes well for Hall, as his solid takedown defence will likely mean this fight stays standing up. He has a massive 3.5-inch reach advantage as well as a 2.5-inch leg reach advantage. Hall doesn’t land as many significant strikes per minute as Strickland, but he’s much more accurate. Look for Hall to wait out Strickland, who has never fought five rounds before, and carefully pick his shots.
Sean Strickland UFC Fight Night Odds
Strickland (23-3 MMA record) missed two full years after a knee injury suffered in a motorcycle accident in 2018. Any fears of the injury affecting his career were put to rest when he returned last October with a unanimous decision win against Jack Marshman. The 30-year-old followed that fight up with a second-round TKO win against Brendan Allen in November and another unanimous decision win in May, this time against Krzysztof Jotko. Having mainly fought in the UFC as a welterweight, the move to middleweight, where he has yet to lose, has been great for Strickland. Coming in on his own four-fight win streak, Saturday is a chance at a Top-10 spot for Strickland.
“Tarzan” is tough and technical and looks destined to get a shot at the middleweight belt sometime next year. His striking has vastly improved, but it’s wrestling where he really excels. Strickland averages 1.14 takedowns per 15 minutes (0.67 for Hall) with 60 per cent accuracy (38 per cent for Hall). He has a stiff jab and he’ll likely use his technical, workmanlike approach to get Hall moving from the start. The main concern for Strickland is a lack of speed. Combine that with his reach disadvantage and he’ll likely need to eat a few shots to close the gap on Hall. Strickland’s best strategy in this fight is to move it to the ground as fast as possible.
UFC Fight Night Prediction: Hall vs. Strickland
Both fighters are riding four-fight win streaks and have earned their spots in the Top-15 of the middleweight division. Hall has used his superior striking to get where he is, but his ground game is weak. Strickland is the better wrestler and while his striking isn’t at Hall’s level, it’s close. Strickland wins by second-round submission.