On Saturday, December 11, at UFC 269, jiu-jitsu specialist Ryan Hall will return to action five months after suffering his first UFC defeat when he faces fellow grappler Darrick Minner. In a recent interview, Hall spoke about his fighting style, his bout with Minner, his recent loss to Ilia Topuria, and his plans moving forward.
Hall is both loved and hated for his unique approach to MMA. He relies heavily on unorthodox entries to bring the fight to the mat where he can employ his world-class jiu-jitsu. That strategy has won him both fans and detractors.
“I do my best to be myself and try to fight the best I can and grow and learn. And I’m out there trying to do some things that are new and different, and some of them are a great idea and some of them less so, but you never really know until you try to fly the airplane… In a parallel universe that first spinning hook kick (against Topuria) is one or two inches higher and he’s on his face in the first minute, but fighting is a game of inches in that regard.”
Hall has fought just five times since making his UFC debut in 2015, often struggling to find opponents, then struggling with injuries and a string of cancellations. At UFC 269, Hall will look to not only win, but get back on track to fighting often as he works his way back into the featherweight rankings.
“I want to finish Darrick Minner on Saturday. And then I want to fight back into the rankings, and then I want a rematch with Ilia Topuria, and then I want to move forward… I want to fight the best opposition that I possibly can. I’m looking forward to facing Darrick Minner. He’s a tough guy. He’s a step in that direction. But i look forward to fighting consistently and frequently for years to come. That’s all I can say… I’ve dealt with a lot of frustration and I didn’t really… put my best foot forward last go-round for a series of reasons. All that matters is that we’re here at this point and I’m excited to get back to it.”
Now 36 years old, Hall plans to fight for years to come.
“There was a period of time where I was wondering how much time was left, because I haven’t taken much damage but I have been around martial arts at a high level for a long time. But I want to fight into my 40s. I want to take this as far as I possibly can, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Ryan Hall fights Darrick Minner on the preliminary card of UFC 269 on Saturday, December 11. That bout will air live on ESPN.