Uriah Hall has faced rivals inside the cage before, but he’s never had an opponent text message him ahead of a fight just to toss out a veiled threat.
According to Hall, after he got matched up with Derek Brunson for UFC Fight Night in Hidalgo, TX, he got a text message from the rising middleweight contender.
Hall has heard a lot of trash talk in his day, but this had to be the strangest attempt at mental warfare yet.
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"Homeboy texted me and said ‘hey man I’m going to kick your ass.’ What idiot does that?" Hall said when speaking to FOX Sports. "It clearly shows ‘I’m afraid of you.’ I can’t wait. He actually text messaged me. I don’t even know how he got my number."
Hall explained that he actually ended up posting the message on social media for a brief period of time with Brunson’s number showing on his Twitter account.
That only enraged the former Strikeforce fighter even more and Hall was convinced that this was just another underhanded tactic that Brunson was taking to try and intimidate him.
"It clearly shows he’s not confident at all. If you can do something like that, you are remotely far from being confident," Hall said. "You don’t need to text your opponent. You guys are going to step inside the ring. It just inspires me more to go beat him up."
Hall isn’t exactly sure when his rivalry with Brunson started but the two have engaged in a war of words dating back several months at this point.
The back-and-forth exchanges via text message were bad enough, but then Hall saw that Brunson was suddenly questioning whether or not he was a clean athlete.
Brunson went as far as saying that he heard from "a legit source" that Hall had cheated in the past so he put it out on social media while asking USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) to make sure they were testing him ahead of their fight.
Hall can’t help but shake his head at Brunson’s accusation, especially considering they’ve been undergoing the same drug testing ever since USADA was brought in by the UFC and neither one of them have tested positive for anything.
"Well he’s a (expletive) idiot, that’s one. I don’t know where he got that from. I guess when Yoel (Romero) took it and beat his ass, it got in his head ‘oh now everybody else is on it.’ He’s one of those weak-minded idiots you can’t say anything to because he’ll believe it. I have no idea," Hall said.
We're all on the USADA program, dumb ass. We get tested on a random base and I've never come up for anything. So I don't know where he's coming from with this. It's his strategy to try and get in my head, which is not working at all.
— Uriah Hall
For all the accusations, random text messages and social media warfare, Hall just believes that Brunson is trying to bully him before they even step into the Octagon together and he’s faced plenty of people like that in his past.
Hall has spoken out numerous times about how he faced bullying as a kid and he’s fought against it throughout his professional career. Looking at Brunson, Hall just sees a bigger bully and he plans on chopping him down to size when they meet on Saturday night.
"He’s scared and he’s weak minded and he likes to pick on people he thinks are weak minded and in my defense, that’s the perfect thing you could ever do. I love underestimation. Because not only can I prove you wrong, but I can embarrass you and that’s what I want to do," Hall said.
"He’s one of those verbal bullies. He tries to intimidate people. He passed by me this morning growling at me and I’m like OK, am I supposed to be nervous or something? You can’t wait for Saturday fast enough."
If anybody is intimidated going into the fight, Hall believes it’s Brunson, and all he has to do is look back at the numerous interactions they’ve had over the past few months.
Hall has plenty he can say about Brunson’s shortcomings, but he’s mostly looking forward to shutting his mouth when they finally face off this weekend.
"Derek Brunson is a genuine real life (expletive)," Hall said. "I mean look how many fights he’s backed out of. Gegard (Mousasi) and all these other fights where he’s like ‘I’m sick, my tummy hurts, my period is this month’. He’s always complaining about some (expletive) and then he’s going to criticize me about my wins and that I’m lucky?
"He talks a lot of (expletive) and it’s time to shut him up. That’s it."