Glendale, AZ – Former UFC middleweight contender Uriah Hall will make his professional boxing debut on Saturday night at the Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva event. The journey to this spot, however, came with some very serious challenges.
Speaking to Cageside Press, among other media at the Paul vs. Silva open workouts on Wednesday, Hall revealed his battle with depression following his retirement from MMA.
“I was in a weird place. After leaving MMA, man, I fell into a really deep hole. If I could talk about it, I fell into a deep depression. A lot of athletes, when you do something for so long, that’s what you identify as, you know? You’re a football player only or you’re a fighter only,” Hall said
“People don’t see that when you walk outside you’re like, Wait, there’s nothing else for me to do?”
After 19 fights with the UFC, which included getting to the finals at The Ultimate Fighter Season 17, he walked away from the sport he trained in for over 20 years in August.
“I spent 20 years of my life committing myself, my soul to one attribute, and then all of the sudden it’s gone, it’s taken away. So, it was some really dark deep places, and luckily I had the right people around me to support me,” he said.
It got so bad for Hall that he contemplated suicide.
“When I say I felt depressed, I even at one point looked at my firearm. Like, wait a minute, I can go down a really dark path if I don’t get out of this. And people don’t talk about that sh*t,” said Hall.
“Depression is a real thing, and if you don’t have the right support group, support system, you won’t get out of it man.”
Late actor and comedian Robin Williams came to mind when Hall described how odd it was for someone who seemed to have it all to want to end it.
“If you look at like Robin Williams and all those types of people, you’re like ‘How the f*ck did you kill yourself?’ I get it. At that moment I finally f*cking understood. I sat on my couch for literally a week straight not knowing what to do. I remember opening the door for the first time seeing sunlight like, ‘What the f*ck!’,” he said.
Luckily for Hall he was able to get out of the darkness and into the light with this move to boxing.
“It was really dark and I’m just so happy to get out of that. I encourage people, I know it’s hard to even talk about it or talk to someone about it, but I know activeness does something,” Hall said.
“Literally, by me just getting up and just walking outside, it helped my mentality.”
Hall takes on Le’Veon Bell in the co-main event of Paul vs. Silva on October 29th at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, AZ.