Hall: MD said if I’d made weight, I probably would have died next day

Thursday, January 18, 2018

UFC middleweight Uriah ‘Primetime’ Hall was scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 124 on January 14, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri, but reportedly had a seizure while cutting weight, and went to the hospital for 48 hours. His fight with Vitor Belfort was canceled; UFC president Dana White was not impressed.

Now Hall has responded to the incident on his social network.

“As far as clearing up the air with [White], I heard I was partying in LA, what else was I doing? I wasn’t taking my training seriously and I wasn’t following procedure, there you go,” said Hall, as transcribed by Hunter Homistek for Flo Combat. “You mean to tell me my entire career, all of a sudden I’m going to party in LA — it’s too funny man, oh my God, but that’s what happens when you don’t come out – like, a lot of speculations.”

“I know there’s a lot of miscommunication of what’s going on. People think I punked out. I definitely want to apologize to Vitor and his camp. I know it sucks to go through all that and then not fight. I’ve been there, man, but for the record, I did make weight, I just failed to make it to the scale, which sucked.

“I never had a problem cutting weight, and what happened was I ignored some issues that happened prior. As a fighter, we don’t have sick days. I know some of you have sick days. I don’t have a sick day. So for me, it was just to show up, and I showed up, but my body just was not showing up with it.

“I don’t have to really get into details. It was a harder cut than normal because the injuries that I had didn’t allow me to really cut the weight properly. As much as I neglected my safety and my health, which was the dumbest thing to do – I will never do that again, your health is important.”

“I was in the hospital, of course. It was probably the most dramatic experience I’ve ever had. I mean, I was in and out of it. I was conscious, but I was unconscious. I knew what was happening but I was fighting over it. I was punching. I think I had a mini seizure and at the same time a slight heart attack. My kidneys were just not good.”

“Like I said, it was an injury that I ignored and it just caught up to me. My body was just not responsive to it. I definitely wanted to clear the air. I’m getting better, following doctor’s orders, getting checked up.

“Man, I was so ready to freakin’ throw down, but you know what? S*** happens. The doctor even said, even if I made weight, I probably would’ve died the next day because my body wasn’t having it… I did it for the fans, I did it to get paid, I did it to make sure I showed up, but at the end of the day, man, your life is not worth it.”

The culture of extreme weight cutting is the most dangerous regulatory issue in mixed martial arts. Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission has created a 10 Point Plan to fix the deadly problem. It works. The ABC medical committee supports it. The ABC has adopted it. The UFC supports it and will continue to adopt further parts of it.

Unfortunately, most athletic commissions are apparently waiting for a high-profile death, unconvinced by the lesser known deaths, and the endless series of hospitalizations and other major health problems. If Hall had died, that would do; luckily, he only had a seizure and was hospitalized for days. The highest levels of the sport will not stay lucky for ever.