LOS ANGELES — Uriah Hall was supposed to fight Vitor Belfort on UFC St. Louis on Sunday. Instead, Hall ended up in the hospital, the result of a weight cut gone wrong. MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported over the weekend that Hall was on weight, but had a seizure on his way to the scale. He was held overnight Saturday.
Hall is back on his feet and doing much better now, according to his coach Clayton Hires.
“He’s fine,” Hires told MMA Fighting on Wednesday. “Mishap, but you know that’s the trials and tribulations of the fight game. You’ve gotta come back strong. Things happen, you’ve just gotta learn from them and grow. If you don’t grow, it happens again.”
Hires is in Los Angeles this week coaching his longtime student Chael Sonnen for Sonnen’s fight with Quinton Jackson at Bellator 192. Over the weekend, though, Hires was with Hall when things got a bit scary.
“Yeah, you have to just be careful with a young guy like that,” Hires said. “You’ve gotta be careful. The process has to start on the proper scale and the proper time. But he’ll be back stronger.”
Hires said he’s not exactly sure what went wrong with Hall’s weight cut. Though he does cut a significant amount of weight, New York native has never missed 185 pounds before. But there was something different about this time.
“I don’t know,” the coach said. “This time was kind of eerie, kind of weird. I don’t know exactly what the mishap was. It happens, man. Look at all these elite athletes, you see it. It happens here and there. Who knows, man. Maybe 205 [pounds] for him.”
The possibility of a move up to light heavyweight is already in talks among Hall, 33, and his team, Hires said.
“I think he would dominate there,” Hires said. “There’s a couple guys you got to worry about. I think he’d be a top five. It’s something that we’re discussing. You get past 30 [years old] and things start changing, the body changes. That’s the way it is.”
UFC president Dana White slammed Hall for being unable to make weight Saturday and ending up in the hospital. White, who has a very strong relationship with Hall, said the fighter wasn’t taking things seriously, per his trainers at the UFC Performance Institute.
“I have a very long relationship with Uriah, I like him very much personally,” White told MMAjunkie. “But the guys at the UFC (Performance Institute) said he doesn’t take it serious. He doesn’t take his training serious, he doesn’t do what anybody tells him. He does his own thing.
“A week before the fight, he went to LA and was hanging out in LA in clubs and stuff. So, not good. So I’m going to talk to him, he texted me tonight. He’ s back in his room, obviously he’s not good, and if you don’t cut weight the right way and you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, this is what happens.”
Hires said he didn’t want to address what White said directly, because White is “the boss.” But the coach believes Hall was taking the fight with Belfort seriously.
“We take every fight serious,” Hires said. “It’s life and death out there, man. You’re trying to feed your family. You’re trying to feed your kinfolk. So you’ve gotta take it serious. And if you don’t, then you get hurt. If you get hurt, then you can’t take care of your family.”