Uriah Hall and Rafael Natal had a heated exchange before their fight. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The confrontation at weigh-ins on Friday between Rafael Natal and Uriah Hall was full of intensity and animosity.
Their middleweight encounter at UFC 187, meanwhile, was less enthralling -- especially considering what preceded it. In the end, Natal captured an uninspiring split verdict against “The Ultimate Fighter 17” runner-up, as he relied on takedowns, clinch work and activity to earn the nod from the cageside judges. While Hall was able to have some success landing his jab, his lack of consistent output likely sealed his fate.
After the bout, Hall refused to bury the hatchet, spurning Natal’s offer of a post-fight handshake. “Sapo” still doesn’t understand what made Hall so upset.
“I’m not really sure what happened in the last couple days that lead to the animosity. Uriah grew up in New York, I live in New York and I guess it turned into a competition of who would better represent New York,” Natal said. “He was trying to prove that he was better. I don’t like that type of stuff but this is fighting and it happens sometimes even though it’s really not my thing. I’d rather do my talking in the Octagon.”
While the fight itself wasn’t exactly memorable, Natal is nonetheless building momentum. The Brazilian has won three straight fights in the Octagon and now has his sights set on an opponent who is well-versed in having a target on his back.
“Let’s see what’s next, maybe Michael Bisping,” Natal said. “He’s been talking bad about me.”