Anderson Silva returned to the octagon at UFC Vegas 12 on Saturday night, for what is likely to be the last time.
There is no way a simple fight recap can every convey the enormity, impact, and importance of Anderson Silva’s mixed martial arts career. It would be folly to even try. Instead, I’ll urge anyone interested to check out this career retrospective, or to go direct to the source and hear “The Spider” talk about some of his career highlights.
When it comes to Silva’s bout with Hall, meanwhile, the Halloween night fight was scary only in the sense that is was a reminder that time waits on no man.
Just imagine if the fight had been booked years earlier, when Hall first emerged from The Ultimate Fighter as the fabled “next Anderson Silva.”
Hall and Silva started out with a lengthy feeling out process. Two fighters showing a tremendous amount of respect for one another. The first few strikes came in the form of leg kicks, both men throwing them and landing. Silva then fired a kick upstairs that was blocked. Hall checked a low kick next. Then slipped off a high kick of his own. Silva still had excellent hand speed, landing repeatedly on Hall, forcing him to retreat. His movement was as hypnotic as ever. He managed to land on Uriah Hall several more times. Hall countered, connecting but not flush. Silva fired a spin kick to the leg of Hall. And forced Hall to backpedal one last time before the end of the round.
Between rounds, Hall’s corner advised him to pull the trigger. But it was Silva pressuring early, even if not a lot of actual strikes were thrown through the first two minutes of round two. Hall managed to land a jab, but failed to follow it up with anything. Silva seemed to constantly be moving, no surprise to anyone who’s watched him over the years. Hands always in motion, but Hall refused to fall for anything. Hall came close with a spinning attack, but the round closed without much really landing from either fighter.
Silva turned the heat up early in the third. An eye poke slowed things a moment, then more circling and movement, with neither man pulling the trigger. Silva was more aggressive, Uriah perhaps looking to counter. Both men tried spinning kicks, neither connected clean. Silva added in an axe kick for good measure. His jab found a home once or twice, as did a front kick. Hall then found himself clipped by a punch near the eye, which seemed to bother him. The ref immediately ruled it a punch, not a poke. Silva initiated a clinch, and smashed Hall’s foot with a stop. When they broke, it was Silva with his back to the fence, but he’d circle out, only to be dropped late in the round! Silva grabbed on to Hall’s leg, eating several blows, and was saved by the bell.
— UFC (@ufc) November 1, 2020
Heading into the fourth, momentum had shifted. Whether Silva had fully recovered from that barrage at the end of the third was a question. The duo traded single strikes to start the round, however. Silva then moved in, only for Hall to clip Silva and drop him again! Silva would hang on for a bit, but ate a few too many strikes. Ref Herb Dean waved it off, as Silva grabbed on to his leg, mistaking it for Hall’s.
— UFC (@ufc) November 1, 2020
Following the fight, the pair embraced, Uriah Hall in tears apologizing for beating Silva. Silva, in turn, responded with encouraging words for the man who just ushered him into retirement.
Assuming that is the end of Silva’s career, he has the Hall of Fame to look forward to. He took a moment in the center of the octagon after the bout, contemplating his career, perhaps. Hall, meanwhile, edges closer to title contention than he has ever been.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult for us to stop. But today is the final day,” Silva said during his post-fight interview. Then immediately said he would talk to his team after he got back home, leaving the door for a return ever so slightly open.
Official Result: Uriah Hall def. Anderson Silva by TKO, Round 4, 1:24