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GH’s Maurice Benard Tackles Bullying With UFC Star Uriah Hall

Maurice Benard and Uriah Hall discussed how a negative action can turn into a positive solution.

maurice benard and uriah hall on state of mind general hospitalMaurice Benard and Uriah Hall on State of Mind.
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It is no secret that GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) is a fan of all things boxing. This week his two favorite worlds collided when he sat down with Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial artist Uriah Hall on his video podcast show, State Of Mind. Hall is the first fighter in UFC history to win a fight without throwing a single blow but fighting didn’t always come easy for him. 

Maurice Benard And Uriah Hall: When Obstacles Lead To Your Path

Growing up in Jamaica, the future boxer led an idyllic life, making his own toys, and playing barefoot all day long. But a move to the States showed young Hall a darker side of life. “Of course, coming to America, I have experienced a lot of things. One of the first things that I encountered was bullying. Another thing I encountered was racism. I didn’t understand that. Jamaica was just this closed box if you want to say.”

He explained to Benard how it started. “I was little. I was chubby. I had my Jamaican accent. You know kids, they are just mean when you are different. The bullying got so severe that there was this one time when this bully was beating me up on the bus. Back then they would say if someone picks on you, you ignore them. That is all I remember and this bully came up to me and said, ‘You’re ugly.’”

The future champion grew emotional as he shared the incident that would change his life. “I remember looking away thinking if I ignore him he will just go away. And he didn’t. I just remember him raining down punches. To the point where I remember seeing lights. I didn’t know what to do. It was so severe that another bully jumped in and said, ‘That’s enough, man.’

“Kids were laughing,” Hall continued, his voice growing shaky as he acknowledged a comment Benard made early in their conversation. “You said you were emotional. I am getting a little emotional now. I remember leaving the bus. I just walked off and I was crying. I was bloody. I was just ashamed. I had to walk maybe six more miles home. The entire time and this is where I went into a dark place, the entire time I was saying to myself that he is not going to get away with this. I am going to kill this kid. I am going to find a gun. I was 15 at the time.”

His mother, a strong and intuitive woman, helped find a solution to the bullying. “When I got to high school, that is when I started martial arts because I started cutting school. And I didn’t know that they would call your house and my mother confronted me. I broke down and started crying and said, ‘I hate school. I am getting picked on.’ That is when she put me into a martial arts program and changed my life.”

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He fell in love with martial arts and grew confident, finding a passion that helped him be assertive instead of aggressive, and changed the trajectory of his future.

Uriah Hall: The Soul Of An Athlete

Hall and Benard continued their conversation covering Hall’s early years in Jamaica, his parent’s divorce, his closeness with his grandfather, and his own rocky relationship with his father. For fighting fans, the two took a behind-the-scenes journey into his career in MMA and UFC, pivotal matches in his career, how he trained, fought through injuries, enhancement drug use in the sport, fellow fighter Jake Paul, and his personal mission statement for success.

“I starve my distractions and I feed my focus,” Hall shared with the host. “Whether it is women, whether it is video games, whether it is eating incorrectly, whether it is hanging out with the wrong crowd, whether it is doing anything other than being the best version of myself in that time frame, I have to starve those distractions.”

When it came to retirement, he revealed the depression of not having a goal or a purpose and how he deals with it every day, something many SOM audience members could relate to. For more from the fascinating interview, watch the full episode here.

For more on Uriah Hall, fans can follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Maurice Benard on TwitterInstagram, and TikTok. To follow State Of Mind and subscribe, go to YouTubeInstagram, and Twitter.

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