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In the Featherweight division, we have a showdown between Ryan ‘The Wizard’ Hall and Darrick Miner. Since defeating Artem Lobov to win the Ultimate Fighter in December of 2015, Hall has seen injuries and inactivity limit him to four fights inside the octagon. The last of which was not only Hall’s first loss in the UFC, but first since being defeated fifteen years ago in his mixed martial arts debut in 2006. Meanwhile, Darrick Miner will look to rebound after being defeated by Darren Elkins in July. A loss that halted a two-fight winning streak.
Given both men are grapplers, this fight could go either two ways. One, both neutralize each other and we could have ourselves a pretty tame kickboxing match. Two, both enter the fire and we get an exciting grappling affair that features scrambles, reversals and submission attempts. While I could see the first scenario playing out early, I believe that ultimately it will turn into a grappling affair. One in which could result in a highlight reel submission victory. Ryan Hall is one of the most decorated BJJ practitioners on the planet. While Hall has sparingly shown his BJJ in mixed martial arts, only winning three of his eight wins via submission, when he has, you get something spectacular like the Imanari roll to heel hook submission over B.J. Penn. As for Darrick Miner, he’s never been one for judges. In thirty-eight fights, Miner has only been to the scorecards four times. He has been stopped in eleven of his twelve losses and has won twenty-three of his twenty-six wins via stoppage. Of those twenty-three wins via stoppage, Miner has won twenty-two by submission.
As for a prediction, I’m going with Hall. Despite a career’s worth of inactivity, Hall will not only make his quickest turnaround since joining the UFC in 2015, but this will be the first time since joining the promotion that he has fought twice in the same year. Obviously the most recent result doesn’t sit well with Hall, but this matchup almost seems tailored for him to bounce back. Not only is Hall the better striker, which isn’t saying much, but Miner’s ability to work himself into disadvantageous positions and get submitted, falls right into Hall’s game. So with that said, I predict that Hall wins via submission.