Is Uriah Hall on the verge of being cut?
Uriah Hall’s story has been well documented now. He went from being a highly touted fighter based on an incredible run on “The Ultimate Fighter,” to a disappointing contender once making the actual roster. He managed to turn things around for a while, winning five of six bouts from December 2013 to September 2015, but hasn’t won in nearly two years.
Hall has dropped three straight since upsetting Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 75, suffering decisive losses to some of the best contenders in the division.
He now faces rising contender Krzysztof Jotko on the preliminary portion of a fairly weak card at UFC Fight Night 115, indicating he’s not necessarily in the best of terms with the UFC. That’s often the case for a a fighter on the verge of losing four straight.
Potentially moving toward a 12-9 record in pro MMA, could Hall be cut from the UFC? It’s plausible. Dana White has never shied away from criticizing fighters like Hall, and four consecutive losses would only give him more ammo to be disappointed in a once-promising fighter.
Is Luke Rockhold fighting for a UFC title shot?
Luke Rockhold has not stepped into the Octagon since losing the UFC middleweight title in his first attempt to defend the throne as champion in June 2016. That loss came against Michael Bisping, a former opponent Rockhold had already soundly defeated in a previous meeting. Bisping has since gone on to defend the title against Dan Henderson, and will soon do so against Georges St-Pierre. The problem for the middleweight division is neither of those two challengers had any business competing for the 185-pound title, forcing the rest of the division to sit and wait while their turn finally comes.
That’s a bit of an issue for Rockhold, who hasn’t done as much as, say, Robert Whittaker to solidify himself as the No. 1 contender in the meantime.
Rockhold is currently ranked third in the middleweight class, behind only Whittaker and Yoel Romero. The former is currently the interim middleweight champion, while the latter is the man Whittaker beat to earn his temporary crown. With Whittaker expected to receive the first crack at whoever comes out victorious from Bisping-St-Pierre, Rockhold will likely have to pick up at least two more wins if he has any hopes of reclaiming the crown he lost in 2016.
Be honest, if Rockhold vs. Branch overlaps with Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin, which one are you watching?
Rockhold vs. David Branch is one of the more intriguing middleweight matchups 2017 has had to offer. The former champion’s return alone is worth tuning in, but considering he’s facing one of the elite contenders who made a name for himself outside the Octagon, suddenly Saturday night’s main event has the sort of narrative required to make it must-see TV for fight fans across the globe.
There’s just one problem, though.
A big one.
Rockhold vs. Branch takes place on the same night as one of the biggest boxing matches in recent history, Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin. After years of careful planning, these two juggernauts are finally set to share the squared circle for a highly anticipated night of boxing. It will undoubtedly siphon off viewers who would otherwise be watching Rockhold’s return, expected by many to surpass 1 million pay-per-view buys.
That begs the question: With as big of a boxing fan as White has shown to be in recent years, will he actually skip out on watching Canelo-GGG to watch two of his guys fight on Saturday night? White clearly has had his differences with Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya, but this is also may be too big a fight to skip for a petty history.