UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Silva Preview
A preview of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 12 card, set to take place in Las Vegas.
Updated: Oct. 28, 2020 • 7:56 PM ET
Anderson Silva (left) has already cemented himself as an all-time great fighter.
Future Hall of Famer Anderson Silva and No. 10 ranked middleweight Uriah Hall will main event the UFC’s return to the Apex in Las Vegas this Saturday for UFC Fight Night 181.
Hall is coming off two straight victories, most recently defeating Antonio Carlos Jr. last September by split-decision. The 36-year-old entered the UFC with massive hype on the heels of his highlight reel knockouts during his time as a cast member of the Ultimate Fighter Season 17. However, Hall hasn’t quite lived up to his potential, amassing an 8-7 record in the UFC.
Hall has been a fixture in the middleweight rankings since he arrived in the UFC, but a win over a legend such as Anderson Silva would keep him relevant, for the time being, in the middleweight division. Including Carlos Jr., Hall has key victories over Gegard Mousasi, Thiago Santos and Krzysztof Jotko. On Saturday, though, he has the chance to spoil a legend’s final fight with the UFC.
Silva holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history (middleweight champion for 2,457 days), but he’s coming off two consecutive losses to Jared Cannonier and Israel Adesanya. His last win came in 2017, his only win in the last eight years, a unanimous decision victory over Derek Brunson.
Silva confirmed the fight with Hall will be his last in the UFC, but is it a retirement fight?
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“For sure, this is the last fight, probably this is the last fight,” Silva recently told MMA Junkie. “I love the sport. I’ve prepared my mind for this. I’ve prepared for fight my entire life, but yes, this is my last fight in UFC.”
When asked what he’ll miss most, Silva replied, “I think the training and preparing my mind, preparing my body. This is I think is more important and I feel sad because I don’t have this anymore. This is the last one.”
Yet, Silva’s personal trainer, Rogerio Camoes, doesn’t believe a final fight in the UFC means the former champion is retiring from MMA completely.
“In every conversation I’ve ever had with Anderson Silva, he always says he doesn’t want to stop, that he still wants to fight, that he fights because he loves it and still is very determined to keep on fighting,” Camoes said via MSN.
“That’s why nobody at the gym has this farewell feeling,” Camoes continued. “It’s because of Anderson’s attitude. He never said anything about a last fight. On the contrary, him saying farewell to the UFC does not mean he will stop fighting.”
If Saturday’s fight is truly Silva’s last, he’ll leave behind a legacy that will be hard to match. He hasn’t been afraid to voice his opinions on the current state of the UFC, explaining that when the famous Fertitta brothers sold their remaining UFC stake in 2017, he felt a noticeable shift in the company.
“I think the UFC changed for me when Lorenzo came out,” Silva said. “Lorenzo tried to put inside the UFC the big family, and right now it’s completely different. But I continue to fight inside the UFC, because I have a lot of friends, and I feel the same family. But, yeah, of course it’s changed a lot when Lorenzo is not more inside.”
Silva continued, “I think Lorenzo, the Fertitta brothers, when (were) the owners of the UFC, the relationship with fighters was more close, especially for me. I love Dana (White), but Lorenzo and his brother (were) very close to the fighters and tried to make the UFC fighters part of the UFC family.”
The 45-year-old Silva will undoubtedly be a UFC Hall of Famer. He has 34 wins in 45 fights and has defeated some of the best fighters in the history of the sport. His list of victories includes names such as Rich Franklin (twice), Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Forrest Griffin, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen (twice), Vitor Belfort, Stephen Bonnar and Derek Brunson. For six years, he was the most dominant champion UFC fans had ever seen; and it was nearly impossible to think he would ever lose.
While many believe Silva has stayed in the sport longer than he should, people will remember his prime when he had skills unlike any fighter who had come before him. Silva should be remembered for the great moments, like his unbreakable clinch against Rich Franklin, beating up Dan Henderson and forcing him to tap, entering the matrix against Forrest Griffin, or the unforgettable front kick to Vitor Belfort’s face. He should not be remembered for sticking around well into his 40’s, because like most fighters who stick around too long, he has a passion for fighting.
Saturday’s co-main event will be a featherweight fight between Andre Fili and surging prospect Bryce Mitchell.
Fili, who is 5-2 in his last seven fights, is coming off a split-decision win over Charles Jourdain in June. The 30-year-old has fought in the UFC since 2013 and previously held the same role that the No. 15 ranked Mitchell now holds: exciting young newcomer to the featherweight division.
While Fili has wins over Dennis Bermudez and Myles Jury, a win over Mitchell would be his biggest to date. If he wants to make a run into the featherweight rankings like many pundits have expected him to, a win over Mitchell would be the kick-start he needs.
Mitchell (13-0, 4-0 in the UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Charles Rosa at UFC 249 in May. While the 26-year-old is ranked in the top 15, a win over Fili represents the name he needs on his resume to convince his critics that he’s a real threat in the division.
The rest of main card on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. EST
Middleweight bout - Kevin Holland vs. Makhmud Muradov
Heavyweight bout - Maurice Greene vs. Greg Hardy
Lightweight bout - Bobby Green vs. Thiago Moises
Prelims on ESPN+ at 4 p.m. EST
Lightweight bout - Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Alexander Hernandez
Bantamweight bout - Adrian Yanez vs. Aaron Phillips
Middleweight bout - Sean Strickland vs. Jack Marshman
Welterweight bout - Cole Williams vs. Jason Witt
Light heavyweight bout - Dustin Jacoby vs. Justin Ledet
Women’s bantamweight bout - Cortney Casey vs. Priscila Cachoeira
Bantamweight bout - Miles Johns vs. Kevin Natividad