The Uriah Hall hype train came to a halt on Saturday night as Kelvin Gastelum managed a tight, split-decision win over the heavily favored Uriah Hall in the final of "The Ultimate Fighter" on Saturday night. The judges saw it 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 for Gastelum. With the win, Gastelum won the UFC's reality show tournament, a new motorcycle and a six-figure UFC contract.
Hall got to the final by knocking out three straight opponents in spectacular fashion. Gastelum, his teammate on the show, neutralized Hall with several takedowns throughout the bout. Early in the fight, he added in nasty ground and pound with elbows. Hall answered with a big slam in the second round and some takedowns and strikes of his own, but the overwhelming power he used to get to the final was not there.
Gastelum was the last fighter picked by Chael Sonnen during the first episode of the show, but he got to the final with three straight upsets. He continued with the upset win over Hall, and has now guaranteed his spot in the UFC. He still has plenty to prove in the UFC's middleweight division as he looked gassed late in the bout, but being the guy who stopped Hall is a good way to enter the division. At just 21, he has plenty of time to develop into an even better middleweight.
Hall's loss was shocking because the three straight wins he rattled off to get to the final were so overwhelming. His knockout of Adam Cella in the first round was one of the most memorable in TUF history, and earned him a $25,000 bonus as the fans voted it the best of the season. Sonnen, who coached Hall during the show, said that Hall was well on his way to being a UFC champion.
He has been such a popular fighter this season that it's highly likely that Hall will still get another shot in the UFC. But the buzz around him will drop off considerably, and his rise to the top of the MMA world will not be as fast as everyone expected.
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