After spending most of his career at lightweight, Robert Hale feels healthy at welterweight and is looking to make a run towards the UFC.
Hale (11-5) makes his Unified MMA debut on May 27 when he takes on Ryan Ford for the vacant 170 lb belt.
“The Blue King” is riding a three-fight win streak and looking the best he has in his entire career. However, after suffering his first knockout loss in February 2020, Hale had to reevaluate his career and make a move.
Hale made the permanent move to welterweight, something that needed to be done as he was simply cutting too much weight. Compounding the problem was the world dealing with a global pandemic which led a lengthy layoff, which was frustrating for the 29-year-old.
“It definitely was [frustrating]. It was really unbearable,” Hale told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview recently. “But I still trained from time to time. When COVID hit hard, like a lot of things, [my training] just stopped moving. A lot of my moves stopped. So, it kind of just put me in a different mind frame: just train. You never know what’s gonna happen. So, I always stay ready. You know? I never let not going to the gym at that time stop me from working out. I worked out outside. You know, I met with my brothers, and we always tried.”
After a 16-month layoff, Hale came back and knocked Tyson Duckworth out in the first round.
“It felt amazing. It felt good. I don’t discredit Tyson at all. He just wasn’t ready. Nobody is really me. It’s my time,” Hale said. “Like this era, you know, they have the Paddy Pimblett era, they got the Conor McGregor era..this is The Blue King era. And this era is gonna be the craziest era that people have witnessed in their life.”
Hale plans on getting his second win of 2022 on June 27 against Ford in the main event of Unified MMA 45. He says he will knock him out, and then he will win his next fight, which is already scheduled for June.
“The Blue King” believes he will have two UFC fights by the end of 2022.
“I’m looking forward to big things this year. But I will be by the end of 2022— What I’m looking at is fighting two times in the UFC already.”
Watch the rest of our interview with Robert Hale above. Hale vs. Ford goes down Friday, May 27, 2022 exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.