It took Uriah Hall some time to find a home for his powerful punches, but he finally did, stopping Anderson Silva in the UFC Vegas 12 main event on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The bout is expected to be the finale of Silva’s storied career, but he remained as elusive in committing to retirement as he had been throughout his years in the Octagon.
Silva headed into the bout with retirement on his mind; looking to put a final stamp on his legendary career. Hall was looking to score a win over the former king of the middleweight division to further his own championship aspirations.
It would be Hall that attained his goal.
The fight started slowly, neither man wanting to commit to anything early. About midway through the opening round, Silva landed a punch combination that backed up Hall and then he turned up the pressure.
Silva started throwing more aggressively and using his unorthodox feints, but Hall landed his jab to great affect, snapping Silva’s head back each time it landed.
It was a bit of a slow start to round two, but each man was a little bit more aggressive with their exploratory punches. Still, neither landed anything in the first couple minutes of the frame.
Silva then landed a spinning back kick, although it wasn’t a clean shot, so both men fell back into a rhythm of searching for the kill shot. Silva kept peppering with his shots, trying to force an opening, but Hall was less aggressive, waiting more for counters.
Hall launched a spinning back kick in the final minute, but Silva seemed to block it and then returned fire with a head kick that was blocked as well. There was very little offense in round two, but Silva was a little bit more forward with his pressure and dotted Hall with a few more exploratory strikes.
Neither fighter stepped up the aggression as the third round opened, but it was still Silva that was putting on more pressure and throwing strikes. He didn’t land much of note, but he stayed busier than Hall, who seemed to be having a hard time finding his target.
Silva started to widen the variety of strikes in the third frame, throwing an axe kick amongst other unorthodox techniques. It was a quick right hand that snapped Hall’s head back and set him on the backfoot late in the round.
Silva then backed him up to the fence, working punches to the body and a heavy stomp on Hall’s foot. Silva landed a knee to the body before they separated and moved to the center of the cage.
They finally opened up with a punch exchange and Hall clipped Silva, sending him to the canvas. Hall pounced, unloading, but “The Spider” grabbed Hall’s leg and held on until the horn saved him.
Silva and Hall traded a few one-off shots to open the fourth round, but then Silva got overly aggressive, rushed forward, and Hall finally saw the target he’d been waiting for. He clipped Silva with the right hand, again sending him to the canvas. This time Hall finished in a flurry of punches that forced referee Herb Dean to step in and stop the fight, presumably the final UFC bout of Silva’s career.
After the fight, Hall kneeled in front of Silva, his icon, and cried. They shared a moment that was just for them, Silva seeming to be the one talking more than Hall. He could be overheard telling Hall to enjoy his moment.
Silva remained in the Octagon for several minutes after Hall exited, though he didn’t lay his gloves on the canvas.
“Hats off to the legend, what he’s done for the sport. It was a lot of emotion. I know the job was to get out there and get the W, but to separate the emotions from the fight, that was work itself,” Hall said after the fight.
“I had a really solid moment and I don’t think anyone can ever take that away from me. To me, that was my championship round, win, but obviously the champ, (Israel Adesanya), that’s the guy I want. I know (Silva) danced with him, I finished him, so that says a lot.”
Though this was expected to be Silva’s final fight, he was elusive in committing to retirement both in the lead-up to the fight and in his post-fight comments.
In talking with Michael Bisping, Silva said that this was his final fight for his UFC fans.
“It is very difficult for us to stop, but today is the final day. I am so happy to be here and doing my last show for my fans here in UFC,” Silva said, admitting the difficulty in ending his career.
But perhaps he has plans beyond the UFC after he retires. When Bisping tried to confirm that we had all just witnessed the final mixed martial arts bout of his career, Silva again hedged his bet.
“First I go back home. I go back and sit with my team. It’s tough for say it’s my last or not because this is my air. This I do this for my entire life and with my heart. So let’s see.”
Bryce Mitchell routes Andre Fili with a flurry of takedowns
Excited to finally, officially where his prized camo shorts in the Octagon, Bryce Mitchell made the most of his fight with Andre Fili, dominating from bell to bell.
Though Fili had a ton of fight in him, he couldn’t stop the Mitchell takedown machine. Round after round, Mitchell planted Fili on the canvas and ground and pounded him. Though Mitchell didn’t do a tremendous amount of damage and Fili kept returning the fight to the feet, the bout was all in Mitchell’s favor.
Fili had a good first half of round two, blasting Mitchell with a knee to the face, but Mitchell kept plowing forward with the takedowns, leaving Fili with little to know way to take back control of the fight.
The judges rewarded Mitchell with a unanimous decision to win the UFC Vegas 12 co-main event. It was Mitchell’s fifth consecutive victory.
Greg Hardy overwhelms Maurice Greene for another brutal finish
Greg Hardy hasn’t quite developed into a full-fledged mixed martial artist yet, but his overwhelming style is still working for him.
From the opening bell, he looked to overwhelm Maurice Greene, who was stung early by Hardy’s power. It didn’t take long. Although Greene survived to the second round, Hardy again overwhelmed him with power, putting him on the canvas, and finishing with a bombardment of punches and hammerfists.
Kevin Holland wins with scary stoppage from slam-induce neck injury
Kevin Holland scored a huge first round submissions, although it was a bit of a scary finish. Holland was in control from the outset, quickly taking late replacement Charlie Ontiveros to the canvas and dominating. Ontiveros briefly regained his feet, but Holland slammed him back to the mat.
The referee quickly stepped in to stop the fight as Ontiveros was saying his neck was injured.
Ontiveros was transported to hospital because of the neck injury. According to UFC officials, he heard something pop in his neck, but could move his extremities. He was stabilized and transported for precautionary measures.
By the time Hall had finished Silva, UFC officials said that Ontiveros's scans came back clean and that he had been diagnosed with a strained neck.
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UFC Vegas 12: Hall vs. Silva results
UFC Vegas 12 Main Card (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
Main Event: Uriah Hall def Anderson Silva by TKO (punches) at 1:24, R4Co-Main Event: Bryce Mitchell def Andre Fili by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)Greg Hardy def Maurice Greene by TKO (punches) at 1:12, R2Kevin Holland def Charlie Ontiveros by submission (neck injury) at 2:39, R1Thiago Moises def Bobby Green by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC Vegas 12 Prelims (4 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
Alexander Hernandez def Chris Gruetzemacher by KO (punches) at 1:46, R1Adrian Yanez def Victor Rodriguez by KO (punches and head kick) at 2:46, R1Sean Strickland def Jack Marshman bu unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)Jason Witt def Cole Williams bu submission (arm triangle choke) at 2:10, R2Dustin Jacoby def Justin Ledet by TKO (leg kicks and punches) at 2:38, R1Cortney Casey () vs Priscila Cachoeira () — CANCELEDMiles Johns def Kevin Natividad by KO (punch) at 2:51, R3