| The first thing I noticed when the fight started was that Uriah Hall had a massive advantage in reach and height, but Howard is still a powerful man, so anything could happen.
Shockingly Hall opened the fight with a beautiful blast double-leg takedown. After a little time for Hall the fight came back up to the feet and it seemed at first that Howard was going to be outmatched in the striking department but as the round wore on Howard continued to bring the fight to Uriah and he even tagged Hall with a few heavy strikes in the later minutes of the round. Hall seemed to be slowing just a tad as the final seconds of the round ticked off.
The second round was much of the same. There was a little bit of action and a lot of clinch, though. Howard seemed to be pushing the pace of the fight and landed some nice over hand punches and some hard leg kicks scattered throughout the round. Hall went for a couple takedowns but wasn’t able to score any of them and then at the end of the round Howard pressed forward and scored a huge double-leg takedown. From the top he landed a little bit of ground-and-pound but nothing extremely significant. Still, the takedown could have swayed the score of the second round in his favor.
The third round was rather uneventful. Howard again pressed the pace of the fight, Hall was stuffed of an early takedown, Howard scored a takedown late but couldn’t do anything with it and then Hall scored his own takedown late in the round. He was also unable to do any damage from his top position. It really seemed that both men were rather tired toward the end of the bout but they also continued to touch gloves and smile at each other. I understand the mutual respect but it seemed to be a little much when neither man was landing anything clean and the fight was still up in the air. Honestly, I felt that it was a very close fight and a tough one to score. The judges saw it the same way as they gave the split decision victory to John Howard.
Hall just didn’t seem to do enough and the takedowns that Howard scored throughout the fight might have been the difference in the score cards. Regardless, it was Howard who pressed his way through the hyped Uriah Hall to gain the upset victory and notch his 8th victory in his last 9 fights and he is successful in his UFC return. Hats off to Mr. Howard on the big win.
Stay posted to BJPenn.com to see what the UFC decided to give to John Howard and Uriah Hall next.
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