The fact that the UFC Vegas 33 main event remained intact on Saturday was nothing short of a miracle, and Sean Strickland made sure to make it worth the fans’ time.
Strickland dominated Uriah Hall for five rounds to take the main event via unanimous decision. The 30-year old middleweight relied heavily on the jab and putting pressure on Hall, who never really got into a flow against his former training partner.
Strickland now puts himself into the title conversation at 185-pounds by defeating the 8th ranked Hall. He now sits on a five-fight win streak and will likely be ranked in the top ten come Monday.
For Hall, the loss snaps a four-fight win streak for the middleweight, who was hoping to make a case for a title shot early in 2022.
The main event delivered on a night where fans weren’t sure who was actually going to show up to fight at the UFC APEX.
The beleaguered Fight Night card, in the end, saw more bout cancellations than fights: no less than 12 fights were cancelled in the lead-up to the event, which ultimately featured ten fights that actually transpired inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland, however, was the bout that carried the card all along. A chance for Hall, in particular, to jump into the title conversation. And for Strickland to bag the biggest win of his career.
Strickland now looks for a top-5 opponent to make his move towards UFC gold. Remarkable what he’s been able to do when you consider the kind of adversity that he’s had to overcome in the past few years. Just a few years ago, a motorcycle accident had many questioning whether Strickland would even fight again.
Hall will look to rebound from this loss that will probably see him still ranked in the top 10, but on the outside looking in when it comes to the title picture.
A breakdown of each round is available below.
Round 1 – Sean Strickland came out aggressive with a piston jab reminiscent of the Yanez fight from UFC Vegas 32. He put pressure on Hall getting him on his heels and landing the jab constantly. Hall moved well and began to counter about halfway through the first round and landed a real clean calf kick but Strickland continued the pressure and pace and clearly took the first round.
Round 2 – Hall takes the lead here by being the one to put pressure on Strickland. He comes in more aggressive and begins to mix up his attacks. Strickland is still working his jabs and they’re landing but he’s starting to slow. The pace of the first round is taking effect.
Hall still isn’t using too many kicks, he’s landed two in the fight. Hall is much more active but isn’t able to take the round from Sean.
Round 3 – Hall is even more aggressive now and Strickland comes out a little slow as he tries to recover. More of the same from round 2, but about halfway Hall gets hurt from a punch although many think it was a head clash. Sean goes after Hall but isn’t able to finish him.
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Round 4 – Hall stays busy, Sean is playing defense for the most part. Near the end of the round Strickland hurts Hall and goes after him for a moment before taking him down and taking his back. Hall is able to get back to the feet and return fire before the round ends.
Round 5 – Hall comes out on fire in the first minute. Strickland lets him throw, but is just waiting him out until he gets tired and Strickland takes over. Hall shows the heart of a warrior but any time he begins to get some momentum Strickland takes it and puts it on Hall. Hall is clearly gassed and is reaching for any energy whatsoever. The rest of the fight is all Strickland answering the bursts of energy from Hall.
Strickland takes the fight via decision. That will put a damper on Hall’s title hopes, barring any sort of short-notice situation most likely. Strickland, meanwhile, claims the biggest win of his career, and appears to have arrived as a player at 185lbs.
Official Result: Sean Strickland def. Uriah Hall by unanimous decision (50–44, 50–45, 49–46)