Uriah Hall says he would love to fight UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the future if he can overcome the threat of American Sean Strickland this Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
'Prime Time' Hall returns to action for the first time since April when he stopped Chris Weidman in the first round, and the former Ring of Combat champion hopes a successful outing in the main event of UFC Vegas 33 against former training partner Strickland could propel him into position in the top five of the rankings.
Victory over the former King of the Cage champion on Saturday could also lead to huge fights down the road for the much-avoided middleweight, who is currently riding a four-fight winning streak.
“I’ve been trying to get a crack at the top five, but there’s politics in the sport,” Hall told MMA Junkie. “It is what it is, but I show up.”
“I think most of the people were booked, and he might have been the only one that’s left.
“I mean, on paper, it didn’t really make sense because he’s ranked behind me. But this business, man, you know, it’s business.”
Hall also says he is not bothered by Strickland's recent trash talk.
"He says weird s--- that makes no f------ sense," the 36-year-old said. "What the f--- are you talking about?
"What planet are you on? But you know what? That’s him. That’s his style. People love it. It translates to his awkward style and makes him like, ‘What’s going on here?’
“You know, key factors is to stay calm and stay composed and do what you need to do to finish a guy like that. But, yeah, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about.”
It comes as no surprise that Hall is still struggling to come to terms with Chris Weidman's horrific leg break at UFC 261 in Jacksonville.
After all, Weidman (15-6) was the first man to TKO Hall inside the cage, and he inflicted on the Jamaican slugger his first stoppage defeat via strikes in September 2010.
Emotions were running high, and Hall (17-9) admits he wasn't quite sure how to react.
“S--- happens. It was unfortunate. I mean, I checked it perfectly," he said. "I was taught to check the kick. He threw everything he had into it.
“You know, I felt bad. It was a sucky night leading up to that fight. You know, I wanted to get a crack at him and, you know, he was the first guy to beat me, so it was a little bit of emotion there.
"But at the same time, it was one of those, ‘All right. We’re running it back. Let’s really see what’s going to happen.'”
Adesanya, 32, became the first New Zealand fighter to win a UFC title when he knocked out the durable Robert Whittaker in October 2019.
“I am looking forward to the champ, man,” Hall said. “I got nothing bad to say.
"I’m not here to start any BS. But I’m excited because, you know, he came onto the platform and he has an exciting style. I think my style is perfectly matched up for his.
"But, you know, you got to play the game. There’s a few dudes ahead of me, so I’ve got to take them out and get to him.
"But he’s the motivation because I like that style. I understand that style – and again, nothing bad to say about him.
"He’s a champ. He got to where he had to get to. He played his role. He did his job, and I just want a crack at it. That’s it.”News Now - Sport News