On Saturday night, The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 runner-up once again failed to live up to his enormous expectations after losing a lackluster split decision to John Howard.
Both Hall and Howard seemed to be on another planet throughout the majority of the fight. Despite being showered with boos, the middleweights constantly touched gloves and exchanged smiles as if they were locked in a surefire “Fight of the Night.”
It was like grown men playing “Patty Cake” in the middle of a fight.
Hall started off strong utilizing his length and speed to dance around on the outside and pick Howard apart with his jab. Whenever Howard made desperate attempts to close the distance, Hall would keep him at bay with well-timed knees.
Eventually, Howard forced Hall on his heels with wild overhands and hooks, which in turn opened up opportunities for him to close the distance and work for takedowns. Things really began to unravel for Hall when the fight became a grappling match. By the time the second round rolled around, he was already running on fumes.
UFC president Dana White, who was obviously irate at Hall’s performance, hopped on Twitter after the bout and offered up a new fight bonus, “the high 5 fight of the night.”
Hardcore fans wondered why Hall and Howard even received a main card slot in the first place, especially if it meant Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett had to be pushed down to the undercard.
It was just desserts in the end, as McDonald and Pickett won honors for "Fight of the Night."
Hall is certainly a tremendous prospect who commands a lot of attention, but McDonald and Pickett are both top-five bantamweights, according to UFC.com.
How does a bout between two of the best bantamweights in the world get snubbed for Hall vs. Howard?
By now, White is probably wondering the same thing.