Dana White called TUF 17 star Uriah Hall, “The best fighter to ever come out of the competition” during his press conference last week. This week he has changed his stance and shocked many writers by saying, “I didn’t think he showboated. I think he mentally broke.”
Hall started his match against Kelvin Gastelum timidly and the aggressive Gastelum took little time using his wrestling skills to take the round. From that point on Hall was pressing to score points and bait Gastelum into making a mistake. That mistake never came and Hall lost the bout.
Despite Hall’s positive attitude after the fight you can see that he knew that he’d missed a huge opportunity.
“I trained with the guy and I like him. It was kind of like that emotional side I was trying to get rid of. So it was kind of weird, just going into the ring I was like, ‘Oh, s–t. Here we go again.’ That side kind of got the best of me, but there’s no excuse. Kelvin’s a great guy. He’s a tough kid. I think he’s going to go really far in this sport and I’m happy for him.” – Uriah Hall
Dana White didn’t want to hear any of that and made it known that his stars need to be physically tough during fights but even tougher outside of the octagon.
“I think that you saw what he had this season. But when you find out what a guy really has is when he’s under pressure. When you’re under pressure, you find out who the Anderson Silva’s and the Georges St-Pierre’s are, those type of guys.”
“He’s got a lot of skills, and his wrestling looked really good tonight. Everything looked good tonight,” White said in closing. “He’s just got to work on his head. I just told him, ‘You gotta get that head straight, man. You’ve got to get meaner. You’re not mean enough.'” – Dana White
Dana wants the best for all of his fighters and his disappointment comes from knowing Hall’s potential. Hall will have many more opportunities in the UFC and will be a headliner in the middle weight division very soon. Between now and then Hall has to prepare himself for mentally for his next big fight;for the next time he that he is in the spotlight and be ready to embrace that challenge.