“Gegard is one of the best,” Hall said, “you don’t get to the top five if you’re not one of the best in the league. What I did to him, if anything, I motivated the f—k out of that guy."
In September 2015, at UFC Fight Night 75, co-headliners Gegard Mousasi and Hall faced off for the first time, with the Dutchman favored over the Jamaican-born American. Mousasi dominated the first round, taking Hall down in the early moments and advancing position, raining down strikes, before attempting an unsuccessful rear naked choke.
"I didn't specifically train for that I knew his ground game was good, but what threw we off was his strength," offered Hall to hosts Matt Serra and Jim Norton. "I was like 'damn, what you been wrestling bears?' this motherf—ker's strong as hell."
While Mousasi controlled the first round, Hall unleashed his dynamism just seconds into the second frame, staggering the former DREAM and #Strikeforce light heavyweight champion with a perfectly placed jumping spinning back kick.
Sensing the finish, Hall leapt forward with a flying knee, landing flush on Mousasi’s chin, before punches on the ground led to a TKO stoppage. In a testament to Mousasi’s immense toughness and durability, he was not completely unconscious despite absorbing two of the most powerful strikes that a fighter can throw, directly on the chin, from a man who specializes in such techniques.
The win immediately changed Mousasi, who plummeted down the UFC rankings following the loss, but has looked tremendous since suffering the lone KO/TKO loss of his 13-year professional MMA career.
"Have you seen his fights after my fight?," commented Hall. "He’s like ‘f—k that, I’m going to keep my hands up and start knocking mofos out.' So, you know, it’s interesting how this is going to play out too. I think for this fight he’s gonna come out, do it with a point to prove, but at the same time more cautious than last time.”
Since defeating Mousasi, Hall has dropped consecutive bouts, losing a competitive decision to Robert Whittaker at #UFC193, before being suffering a first-round technical knockout against #DerekBrunson.
Mousasi is heavily favored over Hall heading into their rematch.