After a layoff of almost two years, Ryan Hall is finally set to return to the UFC octagon. He will take on Ilia Topuria at UFC 265 on July 10th. The much anticipated bout may well see the winner walk away with a ranking next to their name.
Hall introduced himself to UFC fans by competing on the 24th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which featured Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber as coaches. Hall ultimately won the season, defeating McGregor's training partner, Artem Lobov, in the season finale.
With his return now imminent, here are three reasons why UFC fans are likely to tune in for Ryan Hall's upcoming fight.
#3 Caliber of opposition
Considering Hall's extended layoff, one might think he would be given an easy fight to re-establish himself and shake off any ring rust. But that is not the case. Ilia Topuria is one of the brightest prospects in the UFC and could pose major problems for Hall.
Topuria is an undefeated prospect, with two UFC wins already under his belt. His most recent victory came against Damon Jackson, whom Topuria brutally knocked out in the first round.
#2 Hall's ever improving striking
Whilst Ryan Hall is often considered a jiu-jitsu player first and foremost, he has also made significant improvements to his striking. He uses the fact that his opponents get so fixated on the BJJ threat to open up with a variety of unorthodox strikes.
Against Darren Elkin, Hall's use of a spinning wheel kick nearly led to an incredible highlight reel KO. Elkins was knocked down with the strike, and only survived until the end of the round due to his incredible durability.
#1 Hall's iminari roll mastery
Hall's striking may well be ever improving but it is his unique application to the BJJ that truly sets him apart from the other 145lb fighters. Hall is a black belt, having trained under 2-time world champion Felipe Costa.
What particularly stands out is Hall's use of the iminari roll, a technique that sees the user roll into his opponent, entangling their legs whilst looking for heel hooks. Hall used the iminari roll to heel hook BJ Penn in 2018. He also defeated two opponents on The Ultimate Fighter with the same technique.