Trigger Warning: This article includes discussion of depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
Uriah Hall stated that his MMA retirement was marked by a deep depression and suicidal thoughts.
Following an open workout for his professional boxing debut, which takes place Saturday against Le’Veon Bell on the undercard of Paul vs. Silva, the former UFC middleweight spoke of a fresh start after struggling to find his post-MMA identity.
” I spent the last 20 year of my life committing my soul to one attribute and then suddenly, it was gone. It’s been a very dark and difficult time and luckily, there were the right people to help me.
“When you say that I felt depressed I looked at my gun and thought, “Wait, I could be down a really dark road if I don’t get out this .'”
After a 19-fight in the UFC in August, Hall announced his MMA retirement. This began following a finalist turn against The Ultimate Fighter 17.. He earned several high-profile wins in the octagon, including a stoppage of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Hall was often seen as frustrated talent and his UFC career came to an abrupt halt after he lost back-to-back bouts against Sean Strickland, Andre Muniz.
On Wednesday Hall addressed his ex-oppose Silva, and opened up about the difficult transition from MMA to boxing.
“If you don’t have the right support system, you won’t get out of it,” he said. “If you look at like, people like Robin Williams, all those type of people, you’re like, ‘How the f*** did you kill yourself?’ I get it. That moment was when I finally understood .”
Hall said he hesitated talking about his struggles because he didn’t want to seem “weak.” He noted there were “politics” involved with his departure from MMA and he felt “alone” and pressured by expectations that he “had to be a man to get out of it.”
When he finally did, Hall said it was physical activity that got him out of his funk. Hall encouraged other people suffering from depression to try the same thing and talk to somebody.
On Saturday, Hall meets Bell, whom he knew nothing about athletically. His only answer to the challenge, he said, was “OK” to facing a former NFL running back.
” “Honestly, and I’m so sorry, but I don’t watch football,” he stated. I don’t watch any of my favorite f***king sports. I like figure skating, because it’s articulate, and I’m that type of guy. But hey, we’re all weird in our own way.”
Hall is uncertain about what his next move will be in combat sports. However, he says that he’s trying to remain “connected to all things and detached …. because literally, nothing lasts forever .”