UFC on ESPN 28 Preview: Hall vs Strickland Headline Event
What an exciting month for MMA fans. UFC opened July with a trilogy bout between McGregor and Poirier; after that, Khabib’s student Islam Makhachev reminded us how dangerous Dagestan Wrestling is. Next, T.J Dillashaw returned to the octagon against Cory Sandahagen and showed up with a stunning performance last Saturday. Finally, the latest UFC event of July will be UFC on ESPN 28, with the main event bout between Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland. The event is this Saturday, July 31.
Uriah Hall, who has won four in a row, will face Sean Strickland and get one step closer to his title shot. Hall beat Chris Weidman Via TKO (Leg Injury). This victory was the first case in UFC history when the fighter won the fight without landing a single punch. Before that fight, Hall defeated Anderson “The Spider” Silva avoiding some punches and counter hook. Uriah is the true finisher, and he has finished 82% of his fights earlier, 13 via TKO/KO and one via Submissions. It will be one of the last opportunities for the 36 years-old Jamaican fighter to get his title shot.
Strickland is 3-0 in the UFC since he returned to the octagon. After a two-year break, he was back against Jack Marshman at UFC Fight Night 181. Two weeks later, at UFC Fight Night 182, Strickland earned a victory against Brendan Allen in the Catchweight division at 195 pounds. The last time he graced the octagon from inside at UFC on ESPN 23 with Krzysztof Jotko and defeated his rival via UD.
Strickland opens the clash as a moderate favorite against Hall, with betting odds -215. The matchup will be exciting since both fighters prefer striking. However, Hall’s reach advantage will be a big problem for Strickland, who loves to fight the long-range. Hall’s reach is 79.5” (202cm), while Strickland has almost 10cm less reach.
If Strickland defeats Hall, he will get closer to his title shot. He might share the octagon for the second time with the Current Middleweight champion Kamaru Usman. Firstly they met each other as the rivals at UFC 210, where The Nigerian Nightmare defeated Tarzan via UD.