After an impressive performance against Darrick Minner at UFC 269, Ryan Hall looks to get back into action ASAP. He said he doesn’t want another long layoff in the prime of his career and he’s certainly on the right track after bouncing back from a loss against Ilia Topuria. Looking back on his career and his path to get to where he is now you’ll understand why guys do not want to fight him, and it’s not for the usual reasons.
Usually, when you have a submission specialist you will have a certain type of fighter who believes they can outdo that person no matter what. You get guys who assume they will simply knock the other out because they’re a submission specialist. Hall is not only a submission specialist but specifically, he uses his heel hooks to scare opponents from engaging with him at all.
Heel hooks are some of the scariest submission attempts in the sport simply because of the damage that can be done to the ligaments in the knee especially, but the entire leg is no longer safe once he has a hold of it. If a guy cannot fight out of the heel hook immediately, you’ll likely see them tap out immediately.
And those who don’t tap out immediately face serious repercussions which usually include torn ACL‘s MCL‘s or worse. Here’s an example of Hall submitting an absolute grappling LEGEND in BJ Penn:
— Bruce Matson (@MetricScout) December 30, 2018
Luckily in his recent performance, there were no serious injuries reported. He did however go out and dominate an opponent who is known for his submission skills as well. Minner is a fighter who has 22 submissions on his résumé and yet looked as if he couldn’t do anything when the fight hit the ground. Even when he isn’t rolling for heel hooks, he is still a threat to stop the fight at any time based on his grappling credentials. It’s not rare that he gets a decision, as 4 of his 9 career wins have come this way, but it does normalize him, which I think will help him in the long run.
If Hall were to continue racking up nasty submission after nasty submission it’s unlikely that he would be able to get any fights in the UFC. He already had a tough time getting fights as it stands, given his awkward style that nobody seems to be able to figure out.
With the long layoffs, he has had it’s unlikely that he stays away from the cage for very long. Looking at what’s next for him it’s likely that he gets a ranked opponent because the featherweight division is moving fairly fast. Topuria was able to book a fight against a ranked fighter in Movsar Evloev at UFC 270 off of his win against Hall. This to me means that Hall is a lot closer to the rankings than we may believe.
I would like to see him matched up with a guy like Shane Burgos who is coming off of a win against Billy Quarantillo. I think their styles will match up perfectly as Burgos is a grappler turned knockout artist and he will be able to withstand Hall’s ground game as well as give him more than he can handle on the feet. Burgos has been fighting up and down the latter half of the rankings at featherweight for his entire UFC career and with a win against Hall, I believe he can launch himself into true stardom within the division. If Hall were to get a win, I believe it stops the ranked fighters from being able to avoid him and puts him in a situation where he needs to be in order to see if he is a title contender going forward.
Another great matchup I could see for him is Pat Sabatini. I think it would be very interesting to see the two grappling styles combat themselves and we would see who the superior grappler is. He does not have as much in-ring experience as Sabatini, however, his grappling background dates back to his childhood.
After a nice outing, Hall has a couple of options to weigh in on before returning to the Octagon. We will see who he faces next and if he can continue on the winning track as one of the last specialists remaining in the UFC.
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