BOSTON—Uriah Hall offers a blunt message for kids targeted by bullies.
“If someone’s picking on you, punch him in the face,” the mixed-martial artist advises. “Because if you do that they’re not going to bother you again.”
Hall came to the United States as a teenager in the 1990s, and his American Dream promptly ran into a nightmare. Bullies targeted him. Halls admits that the advice that he dispenses now wasn’t the advice he followed then. He pretended to ignore the teasing. He admits, “That didn’t work.”
“Bullying was tough,” the immigrant informs. “But I started karate.”
“I didn’t walk around beating people up because karate taught me discipline,” Hall told Breitbart Sports. “It made me more assertive and less aggressive. But I taught kids. The greatest gift you can give any kid is confidence. I taught kids confidence—to believe in themselves, to stand up for what’s right and for others.”
Breitbart Sports caught up to Hall, who combines amazing athleticism with technical striking, at Faneuil Hall in Boston before UFC Fight Night at TD Garden.
The 10-4 fighter demolished Ron Stallings Sunday night. He sent a wobbly-legged Stallings down and opened up a vicious cut above and beneath the late replacement fighter’s eye. After the quick bout, Hall sang the praises of his opponent in taking a fight on short notice.
On the eve of Martin Luther King Day and in the aftermath of social upheaval as a result of several police killings of unarmed African American men, the Jamaican immigrant announced to cheers: “This is America. There is no need to be fighting each other. This is the greatest country in the world.”
Hall seems to be doing all right with standing up for what’s right. He tweeted out a picture of himself enjoying dinner with Jennifer Lopez this week and after a lethargic start to his career in the UFC he has looked like a world beater in winning his last three fights.
One can only guess how life turned out for the people who picked on him in Queens. Hall theorizes, “Bullies just pick on you because you’re different.”
Hall still stands out rather than fits in. This no longer attracts bullies. It attracts fans.