UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Pick: Uriah Hall vs Sean Strickland

I have been patiently waiting for this fight to happen for what feels like 6 months. I am a huge fan of both fighters and they are both strikers but with opposing styles. That is one of the coolest things about this fight.

Uriah Hall is a sniper who doesn’t mind waiting for the right opportunity to strike and when he does, you have no idea where it is coming from or even what it is.

The man can knock anyone on the planet out with some of his kicks. Uriah does wait too much, though, and against a guy who throws combinations like Sean, he might wait too long. That is why I think Uriah will come out strong early on and possibly force Sean backward out of surprise but easier said than done.

I feel that if Sean can recognize this for what it is, treat it as such and not get too reckless trading to where Uriah can sneak one in behind the ear, Sean will weather the storm and put it on Hall as the fight progresses.

As you guys can tell, I have already put a lot of thought into this one but it is still a volatile bet. Uriah can truly knock out any human on earth and I can see him putting away Sean who may beat himself with his aggression.

Hall is the type of guy to wait and he loves to counter. Many compared him to Anderson Silva and I get it but the difference is Anderson was usually the fighter moving forward, feinting his opponents and drawing reactions out of them.

This is much more effective if you can do it but again, easier said than done and it isn’t fair to compare Uriah with the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. Hall has had a good career with the UFC but he came in with so much hype, thanks to this, that it has really worked against him where he is weakest, mentally.

Uriah Hall has always been his own worst enemy. He likes to knock people out but not enough for him to risk getting knocked out himself. That is why, historically, he has always had the habit of backing up against the cage and waiting and waiting.

We have seen this from other knockout artists, even former world champions, in the past. Anthony Pettis and Tyron Woodley are perfect examples.

How many times have they been knocked cold?

Showtime has 12 losses and only two have been by TKO. One was Max wearing on him and getting him out in the third and the other was when Tony Ferguson was breaking him and his coach stopped it between rounds because of a “broken hand”.

Coach wouldn’t have stopped that fight if Frankie Edgar was his fighter. I will tell you that. Duke knows his athlete better than anyone and he knew Anthony wanted out so he gave it to him in hopes of saving his fighter’s face. So, neither time was he knocked out from a big shot.

They were cumulative.

How many times has Tyron Woodley been put away with a big shot? In 7 losses against world class competition, zero.

Because they aren’t willing to risk it. Therefore, they clam up in there and the blueprint is out on how to beat them. They have made guys pay before, yes, but once they slowed down a little bit, they would get pressured and they would shut down.

Uriah is that same guy and he always has been. He is at a new camp and has been for going on a couple of years now and that could help but normally, these mental blocks don’t go away very easily.

It is rooted in fear and while, yes, fear is healthy because none of these three have been knocked cold, but they have also given away fights they easily could have won with their superior striking skills.

Uriah might be able to do it and if you want some action on him in this fight, I would say look at Uriah Hall to win by TKO. I say this because Sean IS the type of guy to get knocked out. He is highly aggressive and relies possibly too much on his chin, conditioning, durability, and toughness.

We are looking at (+285) over at BetOnline.AG. Some late money has come in on this method of victory but as I said, I think Sean will win but it doesn’t make sense to me betting on a low volume knockout artist to win a decision over a high volume pressure boxer.

Volume will be key for Sean and, for Hall, he is going to have to throw with Sean at times even though I don’t think he will, and also, since he plans on waiting, counter the third or fourth strike from Strickland because Sean knows how to shut down a counter fighter and that is volume and forward pressure.

Let’s look at a few other lines and make our predictions for the main event coming up this Saturday night from the desert.

Sean Strickland (-190) vs Uriah Hall (+170)

You guys notice how close these numbers are? Normally when you have a (-190) betting favorite, the underdog isn’t (+170). They are usually (-160) or even (-150).

Why is this? Well, as we have noted before, the sportsbooks are smart and they will gamble from time to time. We know that their primary goal is to get even money on each side so that they can take the rake and make a consistent profit.

They are human too and sometimes they want to play so they set traps and will even line a fight incorrectly just to get some action and when I see them do this little nudge up to (+170), I have to ask myself why. To me, it looks like they are trying to invite a bet on Uriah Hall.

They are definitely doing so more than making him look uninviting.

Please Note:
People still love the guy and to the casual fan, he is truly a force who just defeated two former world champions including the greatest fighter of all time!

So, he’s a new man! Right? I’m just not buying it.

Last week, I made the mistake of backing Darrick Minner who after 40 career professional fights mind you, went to a new camp and fought differently for 1 fight, his last one. Did I choose the 40 fight sample size or did we get blinded by ignorance and recency bias and bet on the 1 fight?

Hopefully you guys missed that article :
Because Darrick came out strong in the first round but jumped a guillotine against a man who is virtually unsubmittable and he quickly paid the price. It was pretty clear that Darrick is more ego than he is a “fighter”.

Or better yet, he is a great hammer and a thin, light, and sharp nail who is through the wood after just a couple knocks. Darren Elkins had lost 4 of his last 5 fights and I thought his durability would wane but the old man is still kicking!

I still think if Darrick would have just kept the fight standing and picked Darren Elkins apart with punches and low kicks, he could have done it and cruised but ego and he wanted to be THE ONE who submitted Elkins.

I screwed up there and will minimize such mistakes in the future.

Is Uriah a brand new man after switching teams or is he going to fade out of the UFC like we have seen over the past few years from Anthony Pettis and Tyron Woodley?

I think aggression is key for Uriah as long as he has the gas tank to back it up but that is how I would coach him but as a coach would I really expect him to completely change up his striking style under pressure in a main event at the age of 36?

No. How bout 37? Uriah will be fighting on his birthday which is pretty rad but that doesn’t matter to me. 37 vs 30. That matters.

Aggressive volume striker vs overly patient knock out artist who is afraid to get knocked out himself. That matters.

Uriah isn’t a fan of the chaos while Sean loves it and thrives there more than any other fighter on the roster.

That is a massive massive gap and I think when Sean turns up the heat and Uriah is backed up near the side of the small Octagon, Hall won’t exactly look for a way out but I think he will do what he has historically done and that’s shut himself down.

If you look back at Uriah’s record, he doesn’t have very many signature wins over top ten fighters in their prime and that is exactly what he is going up against on Saturday night.

The only fight that stands out on his record is his highlight reel spinning back kick to the face of Gegard Mousasi. This one was special and it could happen to Sean. He is going to have to remain vigilant as we would say in the military.

Gegard avenged this loss and did so in clean fashion. I love Hall but he realizes that yes, he earned that win but he also knew that the fight probably wouldn’t go that way more often than not.

Who else has he beaten?

Antonio Carlos Jr…split decision, eh. Bevon Lewis, late KO after getting nearly doubled up on significant strikes landed. Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman were so far out of their respective primes, those wins are barely worth mentioning.

He was fighting older and now he has someone younger in front of him.
Prior to these fights, Uriah had lost 4 of 5 fights. Those losses were to high level guys, don’t get me wrong but they were still losses. Who has he beat? Mousasi, yes, but that was avenged so who else?

Nada. Sean just ran over Brendan Allen like he simply didn’t belong in the Octagon with him and we have seen Allen look incredible lately.

Hall has proven to himself that waiting can work because it worked against Krystof Jotko and Bevon Lewis when he was out struck with volume and caught them with a shot later in the fight.

So, I think Uriah will be confident in this strategy but besides that, that is how he has always fought so why expect something different from a 37 year old. It isn’t easy to change at all as a human but once you get close to 40, it gets really hard. Trust me.

Hall has to know, also, that he is fighting a crazy man. Probably the craziest man he has ever fought. Sean is a pure psychopath and I love it. I love it because of how much he fascinates me.

He is the psycho that I have always wanted to be. I never had that mean dog in me that I always wanted so I like that as well. He came from a broken home like many folks that deal with anger issues but this guy is as transparent as Mike Tyson and hate it or love it, you have to respect it.

Uriah Hall is wiser now, though, than he once was and as a scroll through his Instagram, you can pick up on this. He hung himself on this one, though, from the late great DMX.

X says here to trust someone to be who they are and if Uriah steps into that small Octagon against Sean Strickland on Saturday night the same man he has always been, I think he loses 70-80% of the time.

We have the stylistic matchup on our side here as well as a significant gap in the age of the two men.

I don’t want to say Uriah isn’t hungry because he is but fighting is more mental than it is physical and historically, Sean has been the more dominant fighter mentally throughout their respective careers and that is by a mile! He puts in a lot of training in Las Vegas, putting in the time with his BJJ skills at 10th Planet, as well as working with TWO MMA schools.

And how many people do you see training at both Syndicate MMA and Xtreme Couture at the same time?

Crickets. I was there for years and yes, we always had UFC fighters coming in from out of town just like XC did but no one was going back and forth like it was cookies and milk. Sean does, though, and that is how much the respective coaches respect him.

He has said, though, that he will have John Wood in his corner and that makes sense because Uriah used to train at Xtreme Couture and Eric Nicksick might feel a little bit torn if he had to coach against Hall, a fighter I know he has put a lot of time into helping, primarily mentally.

Please Note:
I say I know this not because I do but because I respect Eric enough to know that he knows the answer to Uriah Hall’s Octagon struggles isn’t refining that spinning back kick. It is his head and any coach and fighter will tell you, remodeling the upstairs is a lot more difficult than ground level.

Now, we have a side and I am staying away from any over/under round total plays. So, method of victory? I told myself that Sean’s moneyline should be good enough here but Uriah only needs one so don’t go unloading more than 2 units on Strickland to win straight up.

I think he is going to get the stoppage. That is how he fights. He wants, craves, and lives for breaking people. Hall has been broken more than once so…

(+135) over at 5dimes.eu and it looks like BetOnline.AG has reeled in their odds to an even (+100). They know what’s up. I don’t see this fight going the distance at all no matter who wins.

That betting line is (-165) over at BetOnline.AG and probably better value honestly with Strickland’s moneyline at even more expensive betting odds that will likely eclipse the 2 to 1 mark by fight time.

Let’s throw one unit on Sean to finish this one inside the 25 possible minutes and also drop 2 units on the fight not to go to the judges’ scorecards.

That way, we cover ourselves for a Uriah Hall knockout which is on the table for sure.

The New Yorker is a live dog for sure but styles are styles, history is usually the present, age is more than a number, and fighting is more mental than physical.

The Bets
Fight doesn’t go the distance
Strickland Wins inside the distance

In Conclusion

These two men have trained together before and I just watched the staredowns and Sean is being his normal self. He has already had 50 or 100 fights in this training camp.

The guy makes no bones about how he trains.
He is going to try to break you in sparring and/or put you on your butt. The guy is a savage like that and that is why he is allowed to train at XC and Syndicate. I haven’t been to the latter’s new location but these two gyms used to be right down the street from each other.

Randy wasn’t thrilled when John opened up a school on the same side of town. I get it, though. The Southwest was the best then. I don’t know about now but I know that Sean Strickland is a madman who has probably 200 souls under his belt just from sparring alone.

Add in street fights as a troubled youth and his professional mixed martial arts record of 23-3 and this guy is more fighter, I mean kill or be killed full Diaz style type of guy than well, anyone in the UFC.

I can’t make him more Diaz than Diaz but I think he is a smarter, more analytical type of guy and could be a future world champion one day. Sean likely gets this one done inside the distance and we have plus money, so why not?


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.