When Uriah announced his retirement in mixed martial arts, it was not necessarily because he thought about a career in combat sports. But that all changed after an intriguing offer was made to him.
The UFC veteran was approached by the UFC about a transition to boxing against Le’Veon Bell (three-time NFL Pro Bowl runningback). Bell will be making his professional debut, having defeated Adrian Peterson in an amateur fight in September.
“I love mixed martial arts and I love to compete,” Hall explained during a media conference call on Thursday. “I’m a competitor. “I’m the competitor that gets out there a million times before I win.
” My coach called me to discuss this. I was on vacation, getting away, and the idea piqued my curiosity because I am very competitive. Give me some of these ‘reasons’ to do it and I’ll do it. So I am here .”
Although boxing with athletes from other sports such as football has been a huge business, Hall did not retire to chase these fights.
Rather, the 38-year old middleweight claims it was the timing of the offer and his interest. He could also say the same for future opportunities.
“It just happened,” Hall said. Hall said, “I am the kind of man that is interested in anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s difficult or fun. It shouldn’t be difficult, or it will frustrate me.
“I’m just having fun. I’m retired from mixed martial arts but I’m not retired from making money. It’s a great opportunity. I see where it can take me. If there’s another great opportunity after this, yeah, I’ll take it. It is my goal. It’s important to have goals to reach to. It’s not enough to just wander around. I don’t want to be a journeyman like that. I need a reason for it .”
Hall won’t be making his salary public, but it is clear that he doesn’t have any grievances about it.
A lot has been made over the years about what top boxers make compared to the biggest champions in a promotion like the UFC and gigantic chasm between the two.
While superstars such as Saul Alvarez and Saul “Canelo”, Alvarez usually take the majority of any promotion’s profits, UFC fighters are paid anywhere from 16 up to 20 per cent. This is significantly less than what top boxers are getting, but it’s still a small fraction of what Major League Baseball players are making.
Jake Paul is the headliner of the show, where Hall faces Bell. He has also spoken out against fighter pay in UFC, often ending up in head to head battles with UFC President Dana White.
“It is OK,” Hall stated about the pay he received in boxing. “Listen, the UFC opened my career and extended my career. My contract was different for everyone. I got a lot of value. Many things are unfair. I don’t think certain things are fair to athletes and for [Jake Paul] to speak out on that, kudos to him but is anything done yet? Nope. How far can we take it?
” I don’t need to get into too many details, but I do know of people who are making [$10,000 to show, $10,000 to win], which seems absurd. Cause you’re going out there and fighting and you’re putting your brain cells on the line and f****** ring card girls are making $70,000, which is utterly f****** ridiculous. At one point, I felt like I deserved more and had to fight for that.” At one point, I felt like I deserved more and I had to fight for that.”
Paul stated that he wants to form a fighters union in order to give athletes more control over promotions such as the UFC, much the way football players do with the NFL and athletes from other major sports.
Fighter pay is still a concern for Hall. However, he acknowledges that there are some issues.
“As much as the UFC will give you an opportunity, what I learned from that is it’s like a monopoly,” Hall said. “They pick and choose. They pick and choose. Some people are reluctant to accept certain things. It’s business at the end of the day. Same thing in this sport. It’s business.
“Yeah Jake may say all the s***, but it’s only to get Dana [White]. excited. Does he do it out of love or because the media is telling him? I don’t f****** know. It’s business, and people will listen if they talk first about money. It’s business .”