Ryan Hall defeated Darren Elkins on the UFC Sacramento prelims Saturday night, but he found himself once again on the receiving end of some criticism along the way. Even though he outstruck Elkins in the first two rounds, fans were not warm on his third-round approach, where he played the fight a bit more defensively and safely. Hall even literally ran away from Elkins on occasion, which is when the boos started to really pick up. Hall has often been labeled as a one-dimensional grappler who does more Imanari rolls than strikes, but Hall is confused as to where this narrative originated since the facts and stats tell a different story:
“You try to be as tricky as possible to deal with,” Hall told MMA Junkie of his style. “My striking has really come along. I’ve cleanly outstruck every opponent I’ve fought. I don’t know why the narrative is different. Nobody wants to grapple with me, but we’ll see what happens when that changes.”
Hall did indeed outstrike Darren Elkins in the fight 40/31 with a higher efficiency and also dropped Elkins more than once in the fight. But as the MMA world has long since learned about Elkins, he is quite the durable character:
“Darren’s super tough,” Hall said. “When I dropped him in the first, I was going to use the guillotine to get to something else. It had a bit more bite than I thought, so I stuck with it. I think with about 10 more seconds in the round, it would have been game over. Darren’s just tough as nails. Getting him out of there is not easy.”
Up next, Ryan Hall would love to continue riding his wave of positive momentum by taking on a fighter that can land him a spot in the top 10:
“Darren’s been in the top 10 or 15 for some time. He’s an unbelievably tough fighter,” Hall continued. “There’s a card in (Washington) D.C. at the end of the year that’s about five minutes away from my house. I’d be excited to be on that and I’d love to fight someone in the top 10.”
Whom would you like to see Ryan Hall fight next?