UFC featherweight Ryan Hall is still looking for a fight.
The grappling ace hasn’t fought since his unanimous decision win over Darren Elkins in July and is itching to return but says no ranked featherweight will fight him.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle to find an opponent,” Hall said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.” “I’ve been directly turned down or been told they’re unavailable from 12 all the way down to 6, So that would be (Shane) Burgos, (Jose) Aldo, (Josh) Emmett, (Jeremy) Stephens, (Renato) Moicano, Frankie (Edgar), (Calvin) Kattar – pretty much everyone down to ‘Korean Zombie’ or Yair Rodriguez. He’s been unavailable, so it’s been a little bit tough to find an opponent.
“I was directly turned down by Josh Emmett. I was directly turned down by Renato Moicano. I guess there’s three guys in the division in Frankie Edgar, Jose Aldo and Renato Moicano, all of them very tough guys – and of course, Edgar and Aldo in particular, iconic figures – but they’re holding spots in the division that they’re not currently competing in, and it just seems like there’s a logjam that’s difficult to deal with.”
Hall (8-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), who’d ideally like to compete before summer, attempted to go out of character by taking to social media to call out the likes of Aldo and Edgar last month, but to no avail. With both guys moving down to bantamweight, Hall has diverted his attention to the possibility of being a fill-in for a pivotal featherweight clash that’s rumored to take place.
“I’m hoping to fight in May, hopefully against the toughest opponents possible,” Hall said. “That’s always what I’ve asked for. That’s always what I’ve hoped for and always what I’ll be ready for. Also, I heard that there’s the potential for a Zabit (Magomedsharipov) and Brian Ortega fight, and if one of those guys stubs their toe and gets hurt, I’ve asked the UFC if I could be an alternate and slide in for that.”
But if he could pick who’s next, Hall says he’d love to put his grappling credentials against one of the best submission artists in the game, former UFC featherweight title challenger Ortega.
“I think it would be really cool to fight Brian Ortega,” Hall said. “He’s obviously a super tough guy, put on an excellent fight against Max Holloway, shows a great deal of durability, very tough guy. Great skills, has excellent wins over Frankie Edgar, over Cub Swanson, over Moicano. Tough on the feet, good on the ground, someone who would intentionally engage me on the ground I think, because he’s probably not afraid of other people either, so I feel like that would be fantastic.”