UFC 261 Betting Pick: Chris Weidman vs Uriah Hall

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal isn’t the only rematch on the card at UFC 261. Uriah Hall and Chris Weidman were locked inside of a cage together once upon a time.

I have heard people say these two fought in the UFC before but it was actually at Ring of Combat 31 back in 2010.

Uriah was 4-0 and Chris was 2-0 at the time.

Chris Weidman won the fight by first round TKO and, of course, went on to defeat Anderson Silva to become the UFC Middleweight Champion of the World.

This one is striker vs grappler and you have to ask yourself, can Chris get this man down a couple of times because if he can, I am quite confident in his top control as well as Uriah freezing up the next time they are on their feet in fear of the next takedown attempt.

That has always been the story with Hall. He has enough talent, speed, size, power, and skill to be a better fighter than he is. If you press forward, he will likely retreat with his back to the fence and wait.

Anthony Showtime Pettis is a good comparison for Uriah Hall. He has the talents and abilities but doesn’t want to lead the dance. They just want to counter and if their opponent knows that, they can feint and then throw combinations that are, of course, much harder to counter.

Please Note:
I understand this because I went through the same thing for a long time just in sparring. It was a high level gym and most of my partners were pro MMA or Muay Thai so there was some hesitancy to throw multiple shots at a time. I would lay back and counter and for the most part, I would do well. As the word got around, though, and people watched, fighters started to pick up on it and try to overwhelm me with pressure. Luckily, I had a mentor and coach who told me I have to stand my ground and make them respect me because I could match their power. Eventually, I switched up my style from passive aggressive to technically aggressive and it made everything easier. This is just in the gym, though. If you’re trying to change your style as a fighter, good luck. That is above my pay grade.

Uriah Hall hasn’t been able to do it, though. He fought Anderson Silva smart because he knew the old man was there to fight and loved the action.

He knew Andy would lead and eventually the counter shot would be there. Against Chris Weidman, though, at UFC 261 on Saturday night…

Uriah Hall has an entirely different puzzle to solve.

Chris isn’t the guy he used to be but he still has one elite technique and that may be 80% of what he needs to get the win over Hall.

More on this technique in a minute.

BetOnline.AG has some excellent value on this fight with the betting odds they released. Let’s take a look at what we have to play with and go from there.

Chris Weidman (-120) vs Uriah Hall (+100)

This betting line opened up with Uriah Hall as the (-135) betting favorite and as you can see, it has just about flipped. I think by fight time, Chris could be (-140) or more. Getting behind Uriah Hall as a favorite is not usually a smart move.

He was the betting favorite over Anderson Silva but Andy was 44 while Chris is actually the same age as Uriah. They were born less than one month apart.

I think Chris can get him down when he wants. Uriah historically doesn’t have A-level takedown defense and Weidman has a move that is elite. His single leg takedown looks pretty simple but he pulls it off at such a high level, most fighters end up on their butts.

Weidman is a very technical wrestler and with the single leg, you can’t really explode out of it. You have to be technical and Uriah knows what to do but can he do it on the same level as Chris’s offense?

I don’t think so. Chris will have to worry about the flying knee defense from Hall but I just see this one going like most of Uriah’s fights. He gets threatened with either extreme power and aggression like he did against Paulo Costa or it is the threat of the takedown from a strong wrestler that shuts him down.

Weidman will have to be careful not to pressure too hard, cut off the Octagon, and use his strikes to enter in on the single leg. Weidman has been one of the best wrestlers in mixed martial arts and the UFC for nearly a decade.

His durability is the major concern here. I don’t think anyone believes that Uriah Hall has a good chance to win this one by submission or by way of the judges’ scorecards. They think he is going to catch Chris with a punch or kick and the weakened chin of The All American won’t be able to hold up.

Weidman has been TKO’ed a few times in his career and they have almost all been recent but so has Uriah Hall. We can’t sleep on Weidman’s power and timing but I think it will be his wrestling and the threat of that makes the difference in this matchup.

Chris just fought Omari Akhmedov and took him down 5 times.

I don’t rate Uriah’s wrestling as high as Omari’s so you have to think Chris will get him to the mat a few times. As I said earlier, Uriah shuts down mentally when he is pressured and there is a major threat.

This has always been the case throughout his MMA career. It sucks because he is one heck of a talent but we have to call it down the middle.

The Bet
Weidman

In Conclusion

I couldn’t get on the Uriah Hall bandwagon this time around. I did pick him to TKO my hero and still feel proud of myself for that win even though it made me (and Uriah) cry.

Please Note:
Hall was taken down by Antonio Carlos Jr but Shoeface gasses and Hall came back for a split decision win. If ACJ doesn’t get tired and keeps up the wrestling pressure, Hall stays folded but when he saw his opponent was tired, it gave him enough comfort to attack. Krzysztof Jotko got Uriah down so I think Chris can do it.It’s that simple, really. I know the story. MMA math doesn’t work but when we are just talking about pieces of the fight and degrees of skill, there is much more accuracy to the arithmetic.

Get your bets in now on The All American to use his wrestling to outpoint the low volume Hall, submit him or even get him out of there with strikes. I like the value we have here at just (-120) so play this one straight up.

PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.

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