UFC middleweight contender Uriah Hall moved into the Fortis MMA gym for his training camp preparing to fight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 249.
Hall was set to fight Souza at the original UFC 249 card on April 18 in Brooklyn and later at Tachi Palace, an event that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. UFC 249 was eventually rescheduled for May 9 in Jacksonville and Hall vs. Souza is one of the featured preliminary bouts on ESPN. On paper, it’s one of the best fights on the card.
In a photo profile of Hall over at ESPN by Cooper Neill, Hall said that he texted UFC president Dana White and told him to keep the Souza fight intact for UFC 249.
“If I’m on deck, there are opportunities I can take,” Hall said.
While Hall did get the matchup he wanted, this has not been a normal training camp for every fighter set to compete on the card. Due to social distancing rules, MMA gyms all over the country are closed down right now, making it difficult for fighters to get their typical training in. For Hall, it meant moving to Dallas to train full-time at Fortis MMA by himself under the tutelage of the gym’s renowned head coach Sayif Saud.
Hall said the advice he received from Saud has convinced Hall to go all-in on his MMA career. A win over the well-respected Souza would certainly show he’s a top middleweight.
“He told me the truth, that I can’t do this forever. It was different when someone else said it. But at some point, I’m going to have to hang up the gloves, but it’s that legacy I want to leave behind,” Hall said.
Hall made waves when he first appeared on TUF 17, with his spinning hook kick KO over Adam Cella being one of the best knockouts ever in MMA. However, Hall has struggled to an 8-7 record in 15 UFC fights. While he has at times showed off incredible potential with wins over fighters such as Gegard Mousasi and Thiago Santos, he’s also lost a number of winnable fights, and he’s been knocked out quite a few times.
But after picking up back-to-back upset wins over Bevon Lewis and Antonio Carlos Junior in his last two fights, the UFC is giving Hall what he wants and giving him one more shot to take on a top-ranked fighter in Souza at UFC 249. It’s certainly been a difficult training camp for Hall, but perhaps the change will ultimately prove to do him good when he steps inside the Octagon next weekend.
Do you think Uriah Hall will defeat Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza?