Ryan Hall has had a very long lay off from the UFC to the point where people were wondering if he was even still fighting.
The controversial response to the Grey Maynard fight certainly had its repercussions. Here’s how Hall explains the long layoff:
“I expressed the interest to the matchmaker in the UFC, who’s never been anything but a gentleman to me, that I wanted to face very difficult and challenging opposition, and he said okay. He said, ‘I’ll let you know when that comes around,’ that a lot of those guys have turned down the fight. So, no, I’ve not been spending my time turning down fights. Not a ton of offers have come in, but the ones that have, I’ve accepted wholeheartedly, and finally we got a good one. In B.J. Penn, you have someone who’s clearly not afraid of anyone. This guy fought up to heavyweight, he fought Lyoto Machida, so I don’t think bravery is an issue in his case, and I will try to match that myself.”
“I think that it’s a tough situation, because I can understand the risk and reward that may be out of whack fighting certain people, and I think it explains a lot about why certain guys are able to get a lot of opponents and a lot of bigger fights, and other people might have significant challenges,” Ryan said. “Say, for instance, ‘Wonderboy,’ whether now or on the way up, I can’t imagine people are lining up to fight Stephen just because it’s a tricky and challenging fight and there’s only one Stephen Thompson running around. So it’s not as if, let’s say you’re fighting the wrestle-boxer but you have many like him and you can practice for this guy — but you can’t just go down to the local karate school and find a black belt and say, ‘Oh man, this guy’s going to be a good stand-in for Wonderboy.’
“As a result, I think it was probably challenging for him until he managed to get in there against Hendricks and Ellenberger — and then you force the issue because of the successes you’ve had — to get those fights. Again, it’s just the nature of the game.”
You can watch the entire interview below:
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