UFC Fight Night Report: Uriah Hall defeats Anderson Silva by TKO
By: Eric Marcotte
On Halloween night, the UFC returned to the Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada to host their fourth Fight Night event of the month. This card was promoted as former middleweight champion, and MMA legend, Anderson “The Spider” Silva’s retirement fight. The 45-year-old Silva has only won a single fight since losing the middleweight title in 2013 (going 1-5-1 in that stretch), but has consistently faced top competition, and he has certainly had his moments throughout those fights that have reminded viewers why he was once considered the best fighter in the world. His opponent on this night was the 10th ranked UFC middleweight, Uriah Hall. Hall had a very impressive run on the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter, and expectations were extremely high for him in the UFC, so much so, that many were calling him the next Anderson Silva. Those were insane expectations that Hall has never been able to meet, but after winning three of his last four fights, he had compiled enough momentum to re-insert himself in the top ten of the division, and finally face off against the man that he had been compared to for so long. In the co-main event, popular featherweight prospect Bryce Mitchell faced a veteran of the division, Andre Fili.
Brendan Fitzgerald provided commentary for this card alongside UFC Hall of Famer, Michael Bisping. Performance bonuses were awarded to Kevin Holland, Alexander Hernandez, Adrian Yanez, and Miles Johns.
*Miles Johns def. Kevin Natividad by KO at 2:51 of Round 3
*Dustin Jacoby def. Justin Ledet by TKO at 2:38 of Round 1
*Jason Witt def. Cole Williams by arm triangle at 2:09 of Round 2
*Sean Strickland def. Jack Marshman by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Adrian Yanez def. Victor Rodriguez by KO at 2:46 of Round 1
*Alexander Hernandez def. Chris Gruetzemacher by TKO at 1:46 of Round 1
*Thiago Moises def. Bobby Green by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Kevin Holland def. Charlie Ontiveros by verbal submission at 2:39 of Round 1
*Greg Hardy def. Maurice Greene by TKO at 1:12 of Round 1
*Bryce Mitchell def. Andre Fili by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
*Uriah Hall def. Anderson Silva by TKO at 1:24 of Round 4
MILES JOHNS (10-1, 135) VS KEVIN NATIVIDAD (9-1, 134.5) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Johns opened up with a calf kick to Natividad’s lead leg. Natividad defended a double-leg attempt from Johns. They exchanged jabs and low kicks as the round progressed. About halfway through the round, Johns got Natividad to the ground with a single leg, but Natividad popped right back up. Natividad threw a pair of hooks Johns’ way and defended a takedown attempt against the cage. The difference-maker throughout the round was the jab of Johns, and I gave him the round.
Johns went back to the jab to begin the second round but failed on another takedown attempt. They wrestled against the cage for some time and were eventually separated. Natividad landed some decent shots to the body, but neither fighter was having much success landing in combination. Johns defended a takedown attempt from Natividad and landed a spinning back fist on the break. 20-18 Johns.
Johns landed a pair of solid counter hooks early in the third. Natividad was a bit more aggressive in this round, but was still hesitant to commit to lengthier combinations of strikes. Natividad defended another takedown attempt from Johns, but on the break, Johns landed a huge right uppercut that Natividad ducked into, and Natividad was out.
WINNER: Miles Johns by KO at 2:51 of Round 3
This was a great knockout, and the highlight finish will overshadow what was a rather dull fight. Johns hasn’t looked particularly impressive thus far in his UFC run, but this finish will give them a highlight to showcase whenever he fights next. He is now 2-1 in the UFC.
DUSTIN JACOBY (12-5, 204) VS JUSTIN LEDET (9-3, 1 NC, 205.5) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Jacoby threw a number of leg kicks to begin the fight and landed a big right hand. Ledet landed a pair of hard 1-2’s, but his momentum was cut short with another leg kick. Jacoby recognized that the last leg kick hurt Ledet, and he kept attacking it. Ledet went down from the kicks, picked himself up, and was promptly returned to the ground with an uppercut. Ledet was done, and the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Dustin Jacoby by TKO at 2:38 of Round 1
Jacoby really dominated this fight with his vicious leg kicks, and Ledet didn’t appear to have an answer to them. Jacoby was cut from the UFC in 2012 and was very emotional after picking up such a decisive win in his first fight back.
JASON WITT (17-6, 170.5) VS COLE WILLIAMS (11-2, 175.5) – WELTERWEIGHT
Williams missed weight by 4.5lbs and was fined 40% of his purse.
Witt immediately rushed across the octagon, picked Williams up, and slammed him to the ground. Williams managed to bring Witt into his guard, but he was eating some heavy shots from the position. Witt landed a short elbow that really cut Williams open on the left side of his head. I scored the round 10-8 in favor of Witt, and a doctor was brought in between rounds to examine the cut.
Witt landed a strong body kick, before picking Williams up once again, carrying him across the cage, and slamming him down near his corner. He transitioned to full mount and quickly locked in an arm triangle. Williams tapped out, and Witt picked up the second-round submission win.
WINNER: Jason Witt by arm triangle at 2:09 of Round 2
This was about as dominant of a win as you can get. Witt controlled the entire fight with his grappling, dramatically slammed Williams to the ground twice, cut him open badly with an elbow, and finished him with a submission. We didn’t get to see much of Witt in his UFC debut (which he took on two days notice), but he looked fantastic here, against an opponent who missed weight by nearly five pounds. He is now 1-1 in the UFC.
SEAN STRICKLAND (20-3, 185.5) VS JACK MARSHMAN (23-9, 187.5) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Marshman missed weight by 1.5lbs and was fined 20% of his purse.
The opening round was boxing heavy for both fighters, as they actively traded hands, with the occasional low kick mixed in. Strickland was landing the better shots throughout the round, and he mixed body shots into his combinations, which appeared to be adding up. Marshman landed a solid hook near the end of the round, but it wasn’t enough to score the round in his favor.
Strickland’s right hand continued to find a home in the second, and his jab was keeping Marshman at range. A blow from Strickland cut Marshman open below the right eye. Strickland’s jab controlled the round, and he avoided most of Marshman’s heavier shots. Neither man was as active as the previous round, but Strickland still did enough to comfortably win the round.
Strickland was taunting Marshman at the start of the third round, and he continued to get the better of the exchanges on the feet. The commentary team was silent for half the round as they listened in on Strickland’s trash talk. Strickland was begging Marshman to stand and trade, continuously asked Marshman how he’s still standing. This was another clear round for Strickland, and I scored the fight 30-27 in his favor.
WINNER: Sean Strickland by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Despite a two-year layoff following a motorcycle accident, Strickland looked as good as he ever has here. He was the more technical striker, and while Marshman had his moments, Strickland was comfortably in control from the first round until the last. His commentary was very entertaining in the third round, and the actual commentators were already booking his next fight against fellow trash talker, Kevin Holland. Strickland improved to 8-3 in the UFC with this win.
ADRIAN YANEZ (11-3, 135.5) VS VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (7-2, 133) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Rodriguez quickly shot for a takedown, which Yanez defended. Yanez landed a front kick shortly after they separated, but ate a right hand in return. Yanez began to walk Rodriguez down and as overwhelming him with his hands. He momentarily sat Rodriguez down with a straight right hand. Rodriguez was trying to recover, but Yanez continued to land quick shots as Rodriguez retreated, and he finally connected with a head kick that dropped Rodriguez and ended the fight.
WINNER: Adrian Yanez by KO at 2:46 of Round 1
This was a fantastic performance from Adrian Yanez, who overwhelmed Rodriguez with his boxing, and then finished him with a head kick that Yanez basically ran right into. His pressure and cage cutting abilities were impressive here, and Yanez looked very overwhelmed in the octagon with him. You can only gauge so much from a fighter by their first UFC appearance, but as Michael Bisping said in the post-fight interview if Yanez keeps performing like this, he’ll be someone to watch out for in the division.
ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ (11-3, 155.5) VS CHRIS GRUETZEMACHER (14-3, 155.5) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Hernandez was more aggressive to begin this fight than he has been in a while. He beat up Gruetzemacher’s lead leg, and continuously landed strong right hands. Gruetzemacher ate a clean head kick that he ducked into. Hernandez hurt him with a left hook and landed a huge combination of strikes that put Gruetzemacher down.
WINNER: Alexander Hernandez by TKO at 1:46 of Round 1
There was a clear difference in speed here, and Hernandez just lit Gruetzemacher up for the short duration of this fight. After some tough losses to Drew Dober and Donald Cerrone (and a horrendous fight against Francisco Trinaldo), this was exactly what Hernandez needed to remind people why he was regarded as such a hot prospect two years ago. He is now 4-2 in the UFC.
BOBBY GREEN (27-10-1, 155) VS THIAGO MOISES (13-4, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Moise landed a trio of leg kicks to begin the fight. Moises picked Green up and dumped him in the middle of the cage, but Green scrambled on top and landed a solid knee to the body as they returned to the feet and separated. Green dropped his hands and began to march forward with confidence. He attacked the body but ate a solid 1-2 in return. This was a very close round, and I gave the edge to Moises, but it really could of went either way.
Green caught Moises with a left hand as Moises flurried forward. He shot for a takedown and swept Moises leg out from under him to bring him down. Moises quickly returned to the feet and rolled for a heel hook that brought Green down. Green escaped the heel hook, and Moises looked tired when they returned to the feet. Green continued to attack the body, and Moises responded with a pair of right hooks. Moises kept looking for that right hand throughout the remainder of the round and ended it with a strong left. Another razor-close round, where Green looked great for the majority of it, but you could argue Moises had the bigger moments.
Green was the more active fighter early in the third. He landed a number of kicks to the body and lead leg of Moises. Green was bleeding near his right eye and attempted to bring the fight back to the ground with two minutes remaining. Moises defended the attempt and Green attempted to drag Moises down by the arm, which didn’t work out well. Moises took his back, but Green slipped out and they ended the round trading in the middle of the cage. I scored the fight 29-28 Moises.
WINNER: Thiago Moises by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
This fight really could have gone either way. Green outlanded Moises, but Moises seemed to land the more damaging shots and got the better of their grappling exchanges in the second and third. After an unmemorable start in the UFC, back-to-back wins over Michael Johnson and Bobby Green will do a lot accelerate his ascension in the division. Moises is now 3-2 in the UFC.
KEVIN HOLLAND (19-5, 185.5) VS CHARLIE ONTIVEROS (11-6, 182.5) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Holland immediately rushed forward, and Ontiveros seated him with a spinning back fist. Ontiveros caught Holland with an ax kick after returning to the feet. Holland proceeded to pick Ontiveros up, and he slammed him down to the ground. He transitioned to side control and landed a number of hard elbows. Ontiveros picked himself up near the cage, and Holland brought him right back down, hard. The fight was quickly stopped, and the commentators were puzzled. Ontiveros was clearly in immense pain, but it was unclear exactly what happened.
WINNER: Kevin Holland by verbal submission at 2:39 of Round 1
Ontiveros verbally submitted after he was brought to the ground in that finishing sequence, and it was apparent that he was in considerable pain. He had to be stretchered out of the octagon, and Holland later stated that Ontiveros said there was something wrong with his neck. Dana White later gave an update on Ontiveros’s condition, stating that he was able to feel all of his extremities, which is always good news when discussing neck-related injuries.
Holland found Isreal Adesanya in the audience and began to talk trash at him from the cage. With this win he became the first fighter to pick up four UFC wins in 2020. He called out Mike Perry in his post-fight interview, and partially explained his problem with Isreal Adesanya. Holland is 7-2 in the UFC.
GREG HARDY (6-2, 1 NC, 264.5) VS MAURICE GREENE (9-5, 250) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Hardy caught a kick from Greene and dragged him to the ground. He landed a number of hammer fists, and ultimately transitioned to half guard against the cage. Hardy landed elbows to the head and body from this position. He eventually stood up and let Greene return to his feet. Hardy connected with a strong jab. Greene landed a number of leg kicks throughout the round, and Hardy returned the favor later in the fight. Both men seemed tired by the end of the first. 10-9 Hardy.
Herb Dean gave Hardy a stern warning regarding eye-gouging in between rounds. Hardy dropped Greene hard with a lead uppercut, and Hardy proceeded to follow him down, landing hard ground and pound until the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Greg Hardy by TKO at 1:12 of Round 1
Greene was livid with the stoppage, but he was dropped hard, and he ate a lot of shots trying to pick himself back up. This was by no means a great fight, but it was Hardy’s best performance in a while, and he picked up a big finish after a string of decisions. In his post-fight interview, he expressed his interest in fighting again soon. Hardy is now 4-2-1 in the UFC.
ANDRE FILI (21-7, 146) VS BRYCE MITCHELL (13-0, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Mitchell quickly got Fili down near the cage, and the opening minutes of the fight was spent in this area. Fili continuously got back to his feet but was dragged back down every time. Mitchell eventually moved into full mount and he smothered Fili for the majority of the round. Fili got back to his feet and separated with a minute remaining, but was taken right back down. 10-9 Mitchell.
Mitchell landed a number of body kicks and a pair of hooks to begin the second. Fili defended a takedown attempt and landed a flying knee that backed Mitchell up. They exchanged shots on the feet, and Fili defended another takedown attempt. Fili countered a low kick with a straight left hand but was grounded by Mitchell’s next takedown attempt. Mitchell racked up a considerable amount of control time here, but Fili ended the round strong, returning to his feet, knocking Mitchell’s mouthpiece out, and aggressively defending one last takedown attempt. I scored the round for Fili.
Mitchell took Fili back to the ground in the middle of the cage, early in the third. Fili returned to his feet momentarily, but he was quickly brought back down. This sequence repeated itself, and the commentators noted that this marked Mitchell’s seventh takedown of the fight. This was a strong round for Mitchell, and I scored the fight 29-28 in his favor.
WINNER: Bryce Mitchell by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
This was an entertaining grappling heavy fight, and after taking some damage in the second round, Mitchell responded with a big round three to secure the win. I feel like the fight to make for Mitchell coming out of this, is a matchup against fellow featherweight grappling ace, Ryan Hall. Mitchell is now 5-0 in the UFC.
The UFC announced the return of The Ultimate Fighter, which is set to air on ESPN+ in March of 2021. They announced that the competitors for the season will compete in the men’s bantamweight and middleweight divisions. No coaches were announced.
URIAH HALL (16-9, 186) VS ANDERSON SILVA (34-10, 1 NC, 184) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
This marked the 45-year-old Anderson Silva’s 25th fight in the UFC.
The two bowed and touched gloves to begin the fight. They exchanged leg kicks, but neither man committed too much in the opening half of the round. Silva landed a left hook and another kick to the leg. Silva got aggressive, and Hall slowed him with a jab. Anderson threw a number of body shots throughout the round and backed Uriah up with a combination. Hall landed a couple of strikes near the end of the round, but Silva was more aggressive and had a much higher output. 10-9 Silva.
The tape on Hall’s glove had become loose, and the fight was momentarily paused as they adjusted it. Silva threw a kick to the body, and Hall responded with a quick 1-2 as the action resumed. Hall was still a bit gun-shy throughout the round, but Anderson’s output wasn’t particularly high either. They exchanged a number of leg kicks throughout the round. Hall landed a few more leg kicks, and a spinning kick to the body. Hall connected with a jab before time expired in the round. Very close round, but I gave it to Hall.
Anderson landed a solid body kick in the opening minute of the third. Hall connected with his jab a few times, but neither man was particularly active throughout the first half of the round. Silva landed a jab of his own, and they exchanged body shots. Silva landed a number of shots as Hall was pressed against the cage. Hall broke free and as time was running out in the round, Uriah Hall landed a high right hook that floored Anderson, and he landed a number of strong ground and pound strikes before time expired. 29-28 Hall.
Silva pressed forward early in the fourth, with his chin high in the air, and Hall countered him with another right hook that dropped him. This time Hall had time on his side, and he finished the fight with ground and pound shots.
WINNER: Uriah Hall by TKO at 1:24 of Round 4
Hall was very emotional after the finish, and Anderson consoled him. It was a beautiful moment, and we don’t get those too often in MMA. Hall called out Isreal Adesanya in his post-fight interview, which doesn’t seem to be the likeliest next matchup for him. He was aware of this and said he was open to taking another fight in the meantime. Hall has won four of his last five fights.
As far as the fight is concerned, Anderson was more aggressive than he’s been in some time, and it led to moments of success, but also to his eventual defeat. At 45 years of age, Silva’s durability is naturally not what it used to be, and he can no longer get away with some of the things he did in his younger days. Hall was overly hesitant early, but after hurting Anderson at the end of the third, his confidence grew and he finished the fight in the fourth.
In Silva’s post-fight interview, he praised Uriah Hall, said he enjoyed the moment and expressed how difficult it is to walk away from the sport. Michael Bisping asked him if this was his final fight, and Anderson did not commit to an answer, stating he was going to go home to his family and think about it.
I have strong doubts that this will be Anderson Silva’s final fight, but if it is, he leaves behind one of the most illustrious resumes in the history of the sport. His 16-fight win UFC win streak, 14 finishes, and 10 title defenses speak for themselves (as well as his highlights and accomplishments in promotions such as Cage Rage and PRIDE), but what made Anderson special really defies statistics. He carried himself with such confidence inside the cage and had an aura surrounding him that remains (in my opinion) unmatched to this day. In his prime, you could make the case he was the most dominant champion in the history of the sport, and he remains one of the most influential fighters in MMA history. If this was indeed his final fight, he will retire with a professional record of 34-11 (1 NC).