- Date & Location: Saturday, July 31, 2021, @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Odds: Uriah Hall (+185) vs. Sean Strickland (-220) via BetOnline
- Prediction: Strickland via knockout
The UFC initially booked middleweights Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland to face off on August 7 on the UFC 265 pay-per-view card. In early June the UFC moved Hall vs. Strickland to the main event of UFC Vegas 33, which takes place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The early portion of Hall’s UFC run was up and down. During the first five years of his UFC career, Hall went 7-7 and failed to win more than three fights in a row. Since 2019 he has gone 3-0 and is on an overall winning streak of four straight with three knockout wins.
Strickland was more consistent than Hall in his early years. He went 7-3 with time spent at middleweight and welterweight. In 2020, Strickland made the jump back to 185 pounds after eight 170-pound scraps. He is 3-0 in his second stint at middleweight with one knockout and two decisions and is on an overall four-fight winning streak.
Hall is ranked No. 8 in the official UFC middleweight rankings. Strickland is in the No. 11 spot in those rankings.
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HALL vs. STRICKLAND PREDICTION & PICK
If there is one question heading into this fight, it’ going to be the same question that has been asked about Hall since he fell short of winning “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2013. That question is, where is Hall’s head at?
Hall has all the talent in the world, but sometimes he is just not on. One reason this question gets asked about Hall is that he sometimes seems as if he doesn’t particularly enjoy his role as a professional fighter and with how his past two fights ended, I am worried about Hall’s mindset heading into his match-up with Strickland.
Hall broke down in tears after he earned a TKO over Anderson Silva in 2020 and in 2021, he checked a leg kick from Chris Weidman that resulted in a devastating broken leg injury for Weidman. Those things might shake a fighter like Hall.
Strickland does not have a problem with his job. In fact, I sometimes think Strickland might like his job a little too much.
The mental aspect of this fight will be a huge deal and with that I think Strickland has the advantage.
Pick: Strickland -220 via Bovada.
BETTING VALUE WITH STRICKLAND
Hall is an interesting underdog in this matchup. He has the skill and power to beat Strickland and maybe even knock him out. If you are one of the people who believes Hall has figured out his issues with focus, there is plenty of value in picking Hall to win and maybe even to win by knockout.
As I said, I’m not someone who believes Hall has things dialed in. With that I’m picking Strickland to win and if I had to lean on this one, I would lean toward a knockout win for Strickland. I think this will be a huge fight for Strickland. He knows this is a bout that can get him into the upper echelon of the 185-pound weight class. I expect Strickland to be very aggressive and dialed in and to put pressure on Hall from the start of the fight.
Prediction: Strickland via knockout at -225 via BetUS
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Strickland has the mental edge in this one. He also has an advantage in striking. Strickland lands nearly two significant strikes per minute more than Hall and his defense is better as well. Strickland also has grappling advantages in that he lands more takedowns, defends more takedowns and attempts more submissions than Hall.
The two things Hall has are a speed advantage and a skill advantage and that makes him a live dog.
FIGHT STATS: HALL vs. STRICKLAND
|Uriah Hall||Category||Sean Strickland|
|3.34||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||5.14|
|3.54||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.64|
|0.67||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||1.14|
|0.2||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.4|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Both fighters are facing the same stakes in this matchup. A win here puts the victor among the elite of the middleweight division and allows them to keep moving forward. A loss here will relegate Hall to gatekeeper status and give Strickland a long road to the top.
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