Ryan Hall is struggling to land a ranked opponent.
The jiu-jitsu ace is 4-0 in the UFC with his last win being a dominant decision win over Darren Elkins last July.
However, he has had trouble booking an opponent since. While some featherweights are unavailable, others notably turned him down and Hall decided to name them for the public to know.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle to find an opponent,” Hall told Ariel Helwani earlier this week (via MMA Junkie). “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 is now going for the next best thing — being a backup. With rumors of a Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Brian Ortega fight, Hall revealed he has asked the UFC whether he could be an alternate.
“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 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.”
If Hall had his way, though, he would prefer to face fellow jiu-jitsu whiz Ortega in what he sees as a “fantastic” matchup.
“I think it would be really cool to fight Brian Ortega,” Hall added. “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.”
Would you like to see Ortega vs. Hall in the future?