The middleweight main event at UFC Vegas 33 offered a battle between top-15 talents in Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland. In the end, "Tarzan" stood victorious as the king of the Octagon jungle in this one.
Sean Strickland wins boxing heavy fight over Uriah Hall in UFC Vegas 33 headliner
From the start Strickland, 30, and his jab were the story. and it would stay that way throughout the fight. He worked the jab and found a home for it on Hall's face consistently, and generated offense off of it. Throwing big hooks at Hall that looked like they did damage even when blocked.
One of the surprising strategic decisions as the fight developed over the first two rounds, was Hall, 37, deciding to prefer to box instead of pull from his outstanding arsenal of kicks. Since Strickland had no worry of dangerous kicks coming at his head or legs, so he was able to stalk the New Yorker down, land his jab, and attack with a high output.
In the third round, Hall did throw a few kicks early, but it never became consistent after. Then midway through the round, during a phone booth exchange between the two, a right hook from Strickland seemed to land on the back of Hall's head and badly dazed the one-time Ultimate Fighter finalist. Strickland landed a trip takedown on his opponent off that advantage, beat up Hall on the mat and threatened some submissions. However, Hall survived.
The hit to the back of the head only furthered "Primetime's" decline as he seemed even more out of it mentally for the last couple of rounds. Even then, the way this fight was going, it would have been difficult for Hall to stop the wave of offense and pressure that Strickland was able to maintain through all five rounds. In the end, it was more a story of making it to the end of the fight being a moral victory for the underdog Hall.
After five rounds Strickland was awarded the unanimous victory in the UFC Vegas 33 main event.
The victory is the fifth straight for the Californian, likely lands him a top-10 spot at middleweight next week, and puts him in line for an even bigger opportunity in his next bout.
For Hall, the defeat ends a four-fight win streak -- his longest in the UFC.