Last Saturday, Ryan Hall took to the Octagon in Sacramento and beat a local favorite, Darren Elkins, by decision. While Hall is known for his world class Brazilian jiu jitsu, it was his striking that was on display in this fight, as he was able to drop Elkins twice en route to his win.
Although Hall didn’t get the finish, he says the fight went about as perfect as it could have.
“I think it was completely and utterly dominant. He accomplished nothing in the fight, and Elkins is a tough guy,” Hall said to BJPENN.com. “We clearly won the striking, and the only shots he landed were kicks to my legs on the ground and then maybe a body kick. I dropped him a few times and he elected to not pursue the fight on the ground. For it being a who got things done perspective it was one-sided.”
During the fight, Hall pulled guard on numerous occasions. But not once did Elkins go down to the ground with him. Instead, he let Hall get back to his feet, which was not a surprising move according to Hall.
“Nobody understands what I am doing,” he said. “So, no I was not surprised.”
Although Ryan Hall got the win, his performance did produce some blowback from the fans, some of whom believe his fighting style is a bit weird. But he says weird is not the right word.
“I mean people keep saying weird. Is Israel Adesanya weird? Is Stephen Thompson weird? They are just better than everybody. So, if their style is weird, then maybe what everyone else is doing is not correct,” Hall explained. “I don’t know who defined what orthodox is. If everyone is so successful doing what they are doing then they should keep doing it. All I can say is people have described my style as weird, but I am the one hitting them and they aren’t hitting me. When Stephen Thompson and Lyoto Machida first got into the UFC they were weird and karate was stupid, now we like karate. Nothing is weird if it works.”
Ryan Hall eyeing top-10 opponents
With the win, Hall is currently ranked 14th in the featherweight division and already has his eyes set on his next fight. He also wants a ranked opponent.
“I want to fight December 7 in my home city of Washington, D.C. against someone in the top-10. It would be neat to not fly anywhere and I would be in a cage against someone that matters, just like my last three or four opponents,” he said. “Just continue to get better and do my best against the top guys.”
As for who in the top-10 could be next, Ryan Hall says he has opponents in mind but he has to see how the next few months play out before calling anyone out. All he hopes for is that fighters will start accepting fights with him now that he has a number beside his name.
“I guess we will have to find out. But, all I can say is I have never turned down a fight and have been turned down on numerous occasions,” he stated. “I am looking to fight the best and most challenging people there is and that is not going to change.”
Who do you think Ryan Hall should fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/17/2019.