Conventional wisdom was that both Uriah Hall and Chris Leben had their jobs on the line Saturday night at UFC 168. The TUF 1 veteran Leben came into the fight on a three-fight losing streak and Hall had lost his first two official UFC fights since making it to the finals of TUF.
The always aggressive Leben was to provide the fire test to Hall's sometimes too passive style. The flashy striker from New York passed the test with flying colors, stopping Leben with strikes after one round.
Hall was content to use excellent foot work to stay out of Leben's way while mixing in his own selective but powerful shots. Leben walked into a right punch near the end of the first and was dropped hard by it.
Hall followed up with strikes on the ground until the horn sounded and the round ended. It appeared as if Leben had survived the round until the referee heard him ask his corner if he had been knocked out.
It was clear that Leben should not sustain more damage and the fight was stopped in between rounds. Hall now has his first official win and may be on his way to answering critics, including UFC president Dana White, who have questioned whether he has a fighter's heart or not.
“He’s a warrior,” Hall said of Leben. “I knew he was going to come at me full force. I decided to use my feet. You don’t want to get hit by that guy.
I really wanted to go out there and finish the year in style so that result was disappointing. I didn’t expect that type of ending but all things considered I felt good out there. It was a relief to get my first win in the UFC and for me fighting is a scary experience so it’s about going out there and overcoming that fear. I enjoy this but I have a different mindset then most fighters do. I’m a martial artist, not a fighter."
- Sports & Recreation
- Chris Leben
- Uriah Hall