I don’t ever think of matches as the loser leaves town unless you’re talking about Uriah Hall’s next fight. Uriah Hall needs to win a fight, or Uriah Hall will be leaving town.
Hall’s UFC career hasn’t panned out like most expected.
In his debut, he lost a split decision to Kelvin Gastelum in the TUF 17 Finale. White was especially upset about Hall’s performance. At the post-fight media scrum for the event, he said Hall “mentally broke” during the fight.
As shocking as it may seem, those comments were relatively tame in comparison to what White had to say at the post-fight scrum for UFC Fight Night 26, where Hall lost another split decision to John Howard:
I love Uriah Hall. I have a great relationship with this kid. He’s one of the nicest human beings you can ever meet. He’s not a fighter man. …Uriah Hall has all the physical attributes to be amazing. He’s got speed, he’s got power, he’s unbelievable. He doesn’t have what it mentally takes to fight [in the UFC].
White’s damnation of Hall as a fighter is interesting considering both of the losses ended in split decisions against legitimate opposition.
Gastelum is arguably the most underrated fighter to ever come off TUF, and Howard is an incredibly tough veteran who always puts up a valiant effort against upper-echelon opposition. It isn’t like Hall is dropping convincing losses to fighters at the bottom of the totem pole.
Few fighters steal White’s attention to this degree. As stated above, White even claimed he doesn’t like making “loser leaves town” fights. Why do so in Hall’s case?
Perhaps White is upset that Hall hasn’t developed into the fighter he hoped he would become. There certainly isn’t any questioning White’s assessment on Hall. He has all of the physical tools to be a serious force at 185 pounds, but for whatever reason he hasn’t been able to get the job done when it really counts.
The mantra in the UFC is typically three strikes and you’re out. At UFC 168, Hall will try to avoid a third strike when he faces Chris Leben.
White’s tough love and the threat of having everything taken away from him may finally awaken the untapped potential within Hall. If not, then perhaps White is right.
Hall doesn’t have what it takes to fight in the UFC.