While this fight is centered around two people with a knack for devastating striking, this night really only has one story. Anderson Silva is a legend of our sport, and according to the man himself; this fight will be his last. Today we talk about the matchup between Uriah Hall and Anderson Silva. As well as take a look at the illustrious career of one of the greatest of our sport. Let’s dive right in.
The Jamaican-American Uriah “Prime Time” Hall is a dynamic striker who got his start in the UFC via a stint on the show: “The Ultimate Fighter” which I’ll also refer to as “TUF”, for short. Uriah went complete beast mode on TUF and was a clear contender to win from the start. I’ll show you a couple of clips here and jog your memory of just how savage TUF Uriah Hall was.
This knockout here against Adam Celle was actually so devastating; Uriah would later admit it messed with his head. Adam was unconscious for a long time, and the atmosphere after the fight in the arena quickly grew very somber as people in attendance of the fight were afraid Adam would be permanently compromised from that knockout.
With that win under his belt, Hall advanced on to the quarter-finals. He would be facing Bubba McDaniel, a long-time training partner of one of the coaches that season; Jon Jones. Uriah would win the fight with another stunning finish; via a punch that broke Bubba’s face in three places..
So for a guy who’s knocking people out with spinning kicks, and literally breaking people’s faces with single blows; surely he’d go on to win the show, the million-dollar contract, and maybe even a belt in the future, right? Wrong! Uriah had the luck of sharing that season with one of the best Middleweight prospects we’ve seen in the past decade. I’m talking about Kelvin Gastelum, the man who would go on to have that “fight of the year” war with Israel Adesanya.
An Upset for the Ages; and a Rocky UFC Tenure
Uriah Hall and Kelvin Gastelum went head to head at “The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale” in Las Vegas, Nevada. Everyone knew Kelvin was game, but he was viewed as the less skilled fighter ahead of the match. In a split decision win, he would beat Uriah Hall in a massive upset and shock the world.
Obviously, this was not the start Uriah wanted to his UFC career. Nor was it what people expected. From his fights on TUF, Uriah Hall really looked like the second coming of Anderson Silva. Something that’s ironic now, as he’s facing that very man himself; In the legends last war.
The problem Uriah has had: is that every time he gets on a little run, he’ll lose a fight and all of his momentum. The guy’s been stuck in the rankings, and every time he starts getting to the top of the heap, he’s pushed back down. Hall is coming off of a two-fight win streak though, and with a potential win over Anderson Silva, we could really see Uriah have a chance at a run for the title shot.
The Instantaneous Danger of Uriah Hall
Before I move on to Anderson Silva, let’s go over some of Uriah’s best work. If you haven’t noticed by now, this guy’s a phenomenal striker. He’s fast, he hits pretty hard, and he’s tough as nails. We’ve seen Hall losing before, and come back with a finish. If anything, he struggles mentally. There are fights where it’s the classic case of “he didn’t show up”. Times where he seems too timid and waits too long.
Lewis would outstrike Hall 35-16 in round 1. Putting pressure on Uriah and just outworking him. In round 2, the striking differential was 27-16 with Bevon clearly outworking Hall again. It was obvious he needed a finish, and this was to be the case. Displaying his one-punch knockout power once again, ”Prime Time” would turn the tables and get the finish.
Flashback to 2015, and we’re in the midst of the most active year Uriah Hall ever had. He had fought 3 times that year before taking on Gegard Mousasi. Going 2-1, with a loss by split decision to Rafael Natal, and 2 victories by TKO over Ron Stallings and Oluwale Bamgbose.
Against Mousasi, Hall was taken down in the first round and held there. Getting beat on, and forced to defend submissions. Once again, this is another scenario where Uriah Hall hangs tough; and comes back to win.
The striking from this guy is truly beautiful, and if there’s one thing I hope you’ve learned so far; it’s that he’s dangerous at a moment’s notice. Now, let’s move on to the other half of this battle.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva is a legend that will go down as one of the greatest to ever to do it. He made his pro debut in 1997, making a name for himself in promotions such as PRIDE and Cage Rage. Silva wouldn’t begin his UFC career until 2006, but in his first fight he started his UFC career off with a bang.
The Beginning of a Record-Setting Career
it was the 28th of June, 2006. Chris Leben was one of the original contestants off the first season of the Ultimate Fighter. Since joining the UFC he was undefeated; riding a 5 fight winning streak. Here enters: Anderson Silva.
Silva utilized his speed and precision that night to finish Leben, and his next fight would see him take on Rich Franklin for the Middleweight title at UFC 64.
It quickly became apparent in the first round that Anderson Silva’s Muay Thai clinch was too much for Franklin. Silva had a relentless grip on the champion and punished him with knees to the body and head. Here’s the fight-ending sequence of that match:
So in just his second fight with the UFC, Anderson Silva had secured his title. He would go on to set many promotional records like – most middleweight title fights (and wins in such), most successful UFC middleweight title defenses (overall and consecutive), most finishes in UFC middleweight history, most finishes in UFC title fight history, most knockdowns in UFC title fights and UFC history and most knockouts in UFC title fights.
End of an Era
There are so many great moments that Anderson Silva has been apart of that seemed integral to the core of UFC history. Who can forget the complete annihilation of Forest Griffin at UFC 101? The classic rivalry with Chael Sonnen and the Hail Mary triangle choke “The Spider” threw up to come back and save the day. There was the Vitor Belfort KO, where Silva caught the man with a front kick; a technique that was very uncommon at the time to see.
From 2006 to 2012, Anderson Silva was an unstoppable monster in the middleweight division. Undefeated in the UFC, he had cemented himself as one of the greatest. All good things must come to an end though, 2013 at UFC 162; “The Spider” would play around a little too much against Chris Weidman, and get KO’d in round 2.
Since then, Anderson Silva has only won a single match out of his last 8. While also suffering tragic injuries in the meantime. In his rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 168, Silva would break his left leg’s fibula and tibia; via Weidman checking a leg kick. In 2019 at UFC 237, Jared Cannonier would TKO “The Spider” with leg kicks.
Even the one win he’s had since the Weidman fight has fallen under scrutiny; with a plethora of people saying Derek Brunson should’ve won the fight they had back in 2017 at UFC 208. Leaving many hoping for a long time now that Anderson Silva would retire. For myself, I’ve got to say if the man truly does retire Saturday; it’ll be an emotional moment. Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell were the two fighters that originally opened my eyes to the sport, and it’ll indeed be the end of an era.
Keys To Victory
For both fighters, I’ve got to say; this win is there for the taking. I do believe Uriah Hall should be the hungrier fighter coming into this matchup. At 36, this guy might not get many more opportunities like this; especially while he’s on a nice little win streak. A big key for him will be to come out strong in the 1st round. We’ve seen Uriah come out tentative, and I believe if he takes the fight to the aged legend, his power and speed could lead to a knockout.
Another key: Utilize the kicks, especially his leg kicks. We’ve seen “The Spider” suffer multiple leg injuries, and hate it or love it, attacking the legs only helps when fighting an explosive striker like Silva. Which leads me to my final key.
Outworking Anderson Silva. See, I believe this one likely stays on the feet. If that’s the case, a busy Uriah Hall could easily win this on the scorecards. A common trend of Hall is to let his opponent outdo him in volume, and just stay in a defensive shell and throw very sparingly. That’s not the “Prime Time” we’re wanting to see. If he stays busy, there’s a great chance he ends this one before the judges get to come into play.
The reason I love this matchup so much is that the win is literally there for the taking. Whatever fighter comes out the busier man, landing the better kicks will probably be the guy to win. Crowding Uriah Hall against the fence or just, in general, is my first key: and it would be the smartest thing to do. “Prime Time” is a hell of a kicker, and an easy way to try to neutralize that threat is to not let him get into kicking range.
With that being said, Anderson Silva will definitely have to make sure to not pressure too aggressively, and fall onto the pure power of Uriah Hall. Which leads me to another key; finding the best angle for attack. Meaning, cutting Uriah off, or just staying away from the power hand. Anderson Silva’s gonna want to rely on his footwork to keep him at the right angles to engage safely.
Last but not least, more of a wish than a key, but I’d love to see Anderson Silva put in some work from the Thai clinch this fight. It would be an absolutely amazing way to cap off the end of his UFC career, with the same clinch that started it so spectacularly.
For me, I’ve gotta go with Uriah Hall… I will forever be a giant Anderson Silva fan, but I’ve got to be unbiased. I think Hall is going to be the hungrier fighter in this match, he’s coming off of 2 wins, and he’s not gonna want to end that streak. Look for him to come out strong, and maybe get the finish early. I’ve got him by rd. 1 KO, or decision.
So, there you have it, folks! I do hope you enjoyed it! Let’s tune in Saturday, and say farewell to a legend. As always, enjoy the fights!
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!