Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A tough break

In my last blog, I mentioned Ron Stallings from Team Lloyd Irvin getting his big break and stepping up on short notice to fight Uriah Hall at the UFC Fight Night card in Boston last weekend. Unfortunately, Stallings' night ended before it really had a chance to get started.

Stallings and Hall spent most of the first round feeling each other out, with Stallings landing a couple shots. Hall knocked Stallings to the mat and unleashed a barrage of punches, but Stallings survived the onslaught that might have finished other fighters. After Hall and Stallings were stood up, a stiff jab by Hall opened up a deep gash over Stallings' left eye. The referee halted the fight and after an inspection by the cageside doctor, the fight was waved off despite Stallings' protests.

"I didn't believe the cut would impair my vision at all," Stallings told me on Twitter after the fight. "The cut wasn't as bad in the fight as the photo that is being passed around. We took that photo after the doctor had put his fingers inside of the cut opening it to see what needed to be stitched. It wasn't that open during the fight."

It was Stallings' goal to turn the fight into a brawl anyway. "I wanted a bloody, Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar type of fight," he said.

Despite the early stoppage, Stallings was assured the UFC would give him another fight in the Octagon. Which I think is only fair. Stallings stepped up on only a few days notice to take a fight against a dangerous fighter like Hall, with proven knockout power. And when the UFC comes calling, you don't turn it down, whether it's on one-day notice or one year.

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