Call it destiny or fate if you will, but UFC Vancouver middleweight Uriah Hall walked into Fortis MMA on a whim, and fell in love with their program.
Vancouver, BC — UFC Vancouver’s Uriah Hall has always been a bit of an enigma in MMA. A soft-spoken, often thoughtful, sometimes brooding figure. An absolute beast in the octagon, when he pulls the trigger. Sometimes, it seemed, his mental game was the one point he was lacking. Not because of a lack of Fight IQ or overall intelligence, but because he was overthinking things.
In Vancouver, Hall will meet Antonio Carlos Junior. It’s grappler vs. striker, with the Brazilian a real threat on the ground. Hall, mind you, has never been submitted. But he has been susceptible to the takedown.
Ahead of the fight, Hall switched gyms, though he doesn’t feel as though his move to Fortis MMA is that big of a story.
“I don’t think it’s a big topic. I think it’s just a topic,” he said when the switch was brought up at UFC Vancouver’s media day. “I’m just excited to do what I do. For every athlete, it’s just a growing experience. I’ve seen a lot of people ‘switch camps’ or whatever. For an athlete, it’s just to get better. I look at it like a dance. If you’re dancing with someone and it’s fluent then you guys can grow. I tried it out and it was a great experience. I’m just excited to jump on board.”
The move wasn’t a panned one, in that, he wasn’t necessarily unhappy with his old team. “I wasn’t looking for it. I was just in the neighborhood and it was like, ‘Oh what’s this?’ My friend invited me there. I went there and fell in love with the strength and conditioning program,” explained Hall. “I loved the way it worked on recovery at the same time as strengthening. This is probably one of my best weight cuts so far. I feel unbelievable. I’m already close to weight. It goes back to that growing mentality.”
That showed when Hall showed up to the weigh-in Friday morning in a joking, jovial mood.
Beyond growing mentally, there was also the physical toll he’s endured in recent years. That made the gym’s strength and conditioning program even more appealing. “Everyone’s different. For me, it was just working on injuries. Athletes have injuries. The last time I fought without injury was when I fought Adam Cella,” Hall revealed. “That was, what, seven years ago? But my job is to be professional. I don’t have sick days like you guys. If I have a cough, I have to show up. The warrior mentality is always to show up.”
Ultimately, Hall sees his body as a temple, and so “the training atmosphere at Fortis, we collided really well, and it was something to try.”
He also feels the gym is starting to get some credit for their efforts. “I definitely think they’re paying their dues. They work hard. The only way you guys will ever understand is if you try it out. I suggest you go out there and see what it is.”
Watch the full UFC Vancouver media day scrum with Uriah Hall above!