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And while the Jamaica-born middleweight wasn't as swept up in the Twitter-and-YouTube buzz as everyone around him seemed to be, Hall couldn't help but admit that when he finally got a chance to see the kick on television, he had to stop and admire his work.
"I love that kick," Hall said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
The Team Sonnen middleweight didn't enter the Octagon that day looking to score an all-time knockout. For Hall, the spinning back kick was a matter of, if the opportunity came up, he'd give it a try.
"I was like, man, if I could pull something like this off, it would be cool," Hall said. "But my background is a little bit more traditional, and that kick, it wasn't something we focused on too much because you have to have really good timing with it. If you don't get your timing you'll probably hurt your knee, but, I love that kick, and I try to perfect it. I still haven't 100 percent perfected it yet, it's something I haven't perfected yet, but I threw it and it hit."
Of course, when a highlight reel knockout goes viral the way Hall's did, there's likely to be some brushback. The victim of his kick, Cella, was quoted as saying "I didn't think it was that amazing."
Hall, for his part, tried to empathize with Cella. "I can probably put myself in his shoes and you know, people are looking at it like, ‘dude, you got knocked the F out,'" Hall said. "To him it's probably like, oh s---, well why is everyone looking at me like this, what can I do?' I can see where he's coming him, it didn't bother me what he said."
And the victory also meant inevitable attention to Hall's career low point: A 2010 loss to Chris Weidman in Atlantic City, the only stoppage loss of Hall's career.
"I would expect something like this to happen," Hall said. "In any transition you make in life, you're always going to have the people behind you and you're always going to have those people against you, it's just, it's human nature, and I think, just being on the show I learned to handle that. That's nothing you can really do about it.The best you can do about someone hating on you, is just accept it. Take that as a positive thing, because if they're talking about you behind your back, it means you're definitely ahead of them, and in front of him, and it definitely means you're doing something right, which gives them enough time to think about you.
"I just look at it as a positive thing," said Hall, who lives in Queens, N.Y.. "At the time, I lost, I accept it, it's one of the hardest things I've had to encounter, because I'm not used to losing. But I'm glad it happened and it needed to happen because it makes you appreciate those wins, and as a fighter you have to grow, winning or losing."
Hall displays a similarly mature approach to his time spent in the TUF house. While more than one fighter over the years has described TUF life as something about as fun as getting waterboarded, Hall used the time to focus on the task at hand and shut out the rest.
"For me, I needed that," Hall said. "I needed to reflect on things and there were just a lot of emotions running wild. It taught me to control that. I met people on the show who helped me control that. In an environment like that, where there's no TV, there's nothing basically, there's just food, sleep, and training, the tournament, that's what it is for, it's perfect. It's perfect, and some people when they get there, they choose right then and there, you know what, I'm not going be broken, I'm going to take all these challenges and I'm going to go all the way. Like Chael said, its a choice, you chose to go right or your choose to go left.
"I went on the show to pursue one of my biggest dreams, which is to be in the UFC. Just in the journey of what I've found on this show has made me a better person overall. ... At one point in the show Chael was like ‘hey man, who would you rather [fight], this guy or this guy, and I told him [I wanted to go against] whoever the best guy is.' I didn't go at it just trying to make the finals, I was trying to just beat the best guys or go up against the best guys and see how well I matched up, that's how I was looking at it."
As the buzz from the Cella knockout fades, Hall will sit back and wait for the rest of the season to play out. Based on the knockout alone, Hall is likely already as the biggest star coming out of the TUF house in several seasons. And the fact he's been so heavily promoted has led many fans to speculate that Hall will reach the finals.
But if Hall is, he's doing a good job of deflecting such talk.
"Even when I seemed to have a bunch of pictures on the UFC website, and they were saying ‘who's going to make it and who's not going to make it,' or ‘is this guy going to be the next Ultimate Fighter,' I just kind of sat back and just watched how people come up with stuff," Hall said. "And I was like, ‘wow' this is pretty interesting.' In a way, for me to know and people not to know and to see how they make things based on what their opinion is and what their perspective is, some people don't like it or are upset, so it's not really weird. I just kind of hang back and watch them put this stuff together."
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