Gegard Mousasi looks to improve on his current winning run as he faces Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast.
Moving Up The Ladder
Mousasi’s coming off a stoppage of former champion Vitor Belfort and has gone 5-1 in his last 6 bouts. The only blemish on his record during this stretch has been his 2015 knockout loss to Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 75. Now Mousasi not only has an opportunity to avenge that loss, he also has the chance to improve his current standing as one of the middleweight division’s top contenders. The Dream Catcher is currently ranked 5th in his weight class and a win over the 10th ranked Hall will surely boost his stock.
Surprisingly A Big Underdog
Surprisingly, Hall opened as a big underdog to Mousasi despite beating him in their first encounter. Mousasi opened as a -500 favorite while Hall a +325 underdog for the rematch. This is the same scenario during their first bout where Mousasi was a -350 who went as high as -725 during fight night. Back then, Hall was a live underdog who won five of his last six bouts. This time around, Primetime is coming off back to back defeats to Robert Whitaker and Derek Brunson. With the fight two weeks away, Mousasi has remained at -500 while Hall has fallen back at +476.
More Complete Fighter
Between the two, Mousasi is the better all-around fighter. Nothing exceptional about Mousasi’s game except the fact that he’s skilled in almost every aspect of MMA. He’s a very good kickboxer, an underrated wrestler and has smooth submission skills. Hall meanwhile is the flashier athlete who’s always got that puncher’s ( or kicker’s) chance. But despite being one of the top prospects when he first came out, Hall has never put up a serious run and has been beaten by mediocre opposition in the past.
Better Striking Defense
In the striking department, both average almost the same number of strikes per minute with Mousasi at 3.67 and Hall at 3.13. Similarly both have near identical accuracy at 52% vs 50% in favor of Hall. The difference though is defense as Mousasi stops 69% of his opponent’s strikes while Hall defends just 55% of them. Translated to significant strikes, Hall takes more punishment per minute at 2.88 strikes against Mousasi’s 1.17. The difference there could spell a unanimous decision win for Mousasi.
Not A Threat
While Hall is a threat with his flashy kicks and punches, he isn’t so much on the ground. In fact, he only averages 0.3 submission attempts per 15 minutes. Mousasi meanwhile is more active at 1.2 submissions attempted per three rounds. Hall doesn’t also have an impressive takedown average, landing just 41% of his attempts. On the other hand, Mousasi is better at 61%. The differences aren’t much but if you take a look at them, they could spell the difference in this bout. Mousasi has well-timed takedowns and even if he doesn’t convert them to submission, these can win him rounds.
Uriah Hall will always be a dangerous opponent because of his athleticism. But knowing what happened in their first bout, Gegard Mousasi will adjust. Unless he gets nailed by another spinning back kick, he’s going to wear Uriah Hall down round after round. He can do it by jabbing away at him or taking him down on the ground. Look for Mousasi to win on points and don’t be surprised if he wins every round of this bout.