Uriah Hall Describes His Horrific Weigh Cut Ordeal And How He Cut Over 20-Pounds In 24-Hours
Uriah Hall hasn’t had an easy few weeks following his harrowing weight cut at UFC St Louis that left him hospitalized and unable to fight Vitor Belfort.
Speaking today on the UFC Unfiltered Podcast, Hall explained exactly what happened to him and the circumstances that led him being hospitalized.
“Man, where do I start,” Hall said. “I was training for like nine weeks for this fight. Right after my fight with Jotko, I didn’t really take a break. I went right back in and after like 5 or 6 weeks back in, my body kinda shut down. I realised I was over training, but I didn’t pay attention to it because as an athlete you’re just trying to push.
“Around that time I turned pescatarian and being a pescatarian you can’t have certain foods, mostly meat. I was eating plenty of veggies and fish and I think my body was adjusting to that and I think as an elite athlete you need the right fuel. It’s like a Ferrari, you got to have that premium. So my body was lacking all that protein and iron and I got like a hunger for like a turkey burger, so I started eating turkey burgers and I felt like a million bucks. Right back on track.”
Unfortunately for Hall, things weren’t back on track and he suffered some setbacks before he even made it to St Louis.
“Right about that time, my coach Robert Folis took his life and that sent like a shockwave [through me] because nobody saw it coming and it was one of those. Right after that one of my best friends that I grew up with and always had in my life and that I confide in, wasn’t there anymore.
“I was a wreck, I really was. I calling my Mom and my sister almost like every night and I was kinda just crying saying I can’t do this big fight, I can’t fight. They were telling me I have to fight and that I’ve got to push through it and be tough enough and that I had no choice and that I had to get my s*** together. Those were my Mom’s words. I finally got over that hump and I would say like a couple of days before I flew out to St Louis, the same thing happened to me again. My body just went weird and I couldn’t digest food again. I just couldn’t digest food.”
Despite his body showing signs of not being in the right place, Hall persisted with going to St Louis. He then attempted to make the weight and was determined to cut over 20-pounds to hit the 186 on the scales.
“I went out there and I was like 208 when I got there. Normally I’m like 199 or 198, so I was heavy already. Then I got up to 213 and I was like s*** this water is not coming out of my body, so I went into overdrive. I was working twice as hard now. So I started cutting the weight from 206 and I’ve never cut from 206 before.
“Within that timeframe of 24-hours I must’ve lost like 20 something pounds and I got to 187 and I remember sitting in the tub and saying I’m done. If I go any further than this, my body might shut down. As a warrior though, with that mentality, I was like, I don’t want to pay that fine. I’m going to make weight and I’m disciplined.”
Unfortunately for Hall, his dogged determination would lead to a very scary set of scenes in the fighter hotel.
“So I pushed my body to that brink and I made that 185 point something,” Hall said. “They had to hold onto me and pick me up. I’m walking to the elevator and they’re still holding me. Once I got to the elevator, I passed out and in that dramatic moment, I kept waking up and going in and out of consciousness. I didn’t know what was happening, so, I did know what was happening, I just couldn’t control it. I woke up and I was in the elevator. I woke up and I was on the floor and I think they were trying revive me and I was like punching. I kept swinging because I couldn’t control my body. I was trying to fight out of it and the next thing I know the EMTs were there and I was throwing punches at them and Danny [Castillo] from Team Alpha Male was holding me down and another guy was holding me down. I was screaming for water, they put me on a stretcher and I woke up again.
“They were trying to find a vein and they couldn’t find a vein so they kept sticking me over and over, so I kept swinging again and they were like ‘hold him down. Hold him down.’ Then I woke up in the hospital and I’m screaming ‘water, water, just give me water,’ and they were like ‘we can’t give you water yet, we don’t know what you’re allergic to,’ but I was like ‘just give me water, let me put water in my mouth.’ I’m swinging again and they were holding me down and I must’ve passed out again. They then gave me a little sip of water and a little later I must’ve just came to, slowly but surely I just came back to my sense. It was one of the most horrific experiences I’ve ever been through.”
Following the conclusion of the UFC St Louis fight night, UFC President Dana White publicly criticised Hall saying that he’d been told by the UFC Performance Institute staff that Hall hadn’t been acting professionally and that he’d been partying in Los Angeles in the lead up to the fight. Hall responded to White’s comments and explained his initial reaction to hearing what he said.
“No I’ve not talked to him,” Hall confirmed. “First things first, Dana is a business man and that’s how he’s looking at it. He’s looking at it like a business and he’s looking at it like I lost money. He was probably hoping that I was going to retire, for real. I lost money too. I trained for nine weeks for this and I invested a lot. I didn’t get paid for that. I lost money too, but you know, prior to that, people were saying maybe you should’ve said something months ahead and backed out from the fight, but I’m like, are you f***ing serious? When I fight with a broken soul or if I’m fighting and I’m hurt in a fight, my mindset and my job is to push through that, but if I’m sick and I’m not 100-percent, yeah I know it sucks, but in my mind, as a warrior, I’m going to try work around it, that’s what I’m supposed to f***ing do. That’s my job. Pros show up.
“Unfortunately, my mind was there, but my body was like no. With his comment you know, I’m sure someone relayed the message to him wrong, I don’t know. Maybe he’s just passionate about it and that’s his reaction. I did however when I heard about this, I got in my f***ing car and flew down to headquarters and I was ready to throw punches like ‘which one of you motherf***ers was talking s***?’”