The middleweight clash between Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland is on the move.
On Friday, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was first to report that Hall vs. Strickland had been moved from UFC 265 in August, to the main event slot on July 31. No reason was given for the move, but the final Fight Night event of July had been lacking in star power.
No location or venue has been confirmed for the card, but it is expected to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For Uriah Hall (17-9), the fight comes at a make-or-break moment in his career. Hall currently sits on a four fight win streak, with victories over Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman in his last two outings. Under normal circumstances, back-to-back wins over former middleweight champions would be enough to secure a title shot. But an aging Silva in his final UFC fight, and a freak broken leg suffered by Weidman against Hall (a mirror image of Silva’s own leg break against Weidman) means he’s likely still a win or two away.
A strong performance against Strickland in a five-round main event could set Hall up for bigger things, though Robert Whittaker is seemingly waiting in the wings for the winner of Israel Adesaya vs. Marvin Vettori.
Sean Strickland, meanwhile, is also on a four-fight win streak, with two of those four wins coming via TKO.
With the addition of Hall vs. Strickland, the UFC’s July 31 card now breaks down as follows:
Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Rafa Garcia
Bryan Barberena vs. Jason Witt
Jinh Yu Frey vs. Ashley Yoder
Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Collin Anglin
Philip Rowe vs. Orion Cosce
Cheyanne Buys vs. Gloria de Paula
Mounir Lazzez vs. Niklas Stolze
Rani Yahya vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Doo Ho Choi vs. Danny Chavez