So this is the end. Arguably the all-time GOAT, The Spider is putting his fourteen-year UFC career to rest after his final bout with spinning boi, Uriah Hall.
UFC Fight Night 181: Hall vs Silva Predictions & Results
What a strange yet wonderful card. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone on Saturday night. You like legends? Then look no further than the main event in which the Middleweight don Anderson Silva steps into the octagon for his final bout against the supreme athletic talent of Uriah Hall. You like submissions? Ya camo-shorted boi Bryce Mitchell will be searching for a twister against the underrated scrapper, Andre Fili. You like trash-talkers who can back it up? Bobby Green and Kevin Holland are here to counter-punch their way into your heart. You like trash-talkers who can’t back it up? Alexander Hernandez returns for what could be his third humbling since his fateful demise to Donald Cerrone.
The entire preliminary card is rather iffy, but I am looking forward to the car crash that is the Women’s Flyweight bout between Cortney Casey and Priscila Cachoeira. Two very limited fighters that fight with such poor technique and game planning, that their failures are actually the most attractive quality of their game. Cachoeira lasted an entire round against champion, Valentina Shevchenko, never forget that.
Uriah Hall (15-9) vs Anderson Silva (34-10)
It’s been so damn long since the days where Hall looked like he could be the next superstar in the MMA world. A string of insane finishes across The Ultimate Fighter Season 17, including a spinning hook kick which shut down Adam Cella and silenced the room, was ended with a split decision loss in the finale to chubby chops, Kelvin Gastelum. After the Gastelum fight, Hall struggled through fights against veterans and green prospects, only to revitalise his career with a destructive upset finish of Gegard Mousasi. The future looked bright for Hall, he had finally earned himself a definitive win against a top-ranked opponent. Then came three losses to Whittaker, Brunson, and a Mousasi rematch. Hall was finished.
Enter a new Hall at the end of 2017. Lo and behold, Hall added a jab to his offence. This isn’t a limp jab that most MMA fighters tend to favour. Hall, instead, has honed his jab into a real weapon as well as a calculator. A second-round stoppage at the hands of Paulo Costa after a fire-fight ended mostly due to Costa’s sweltering pressure and insane volume. During the bout, however, Hall landed his jab an insane amount. Whenever Costa attempted to close the distance, Hall punished his lack of head movement with a counter jab. By planting his feet, Hall was able to generate crazy power and temporarily stopped Costa in his tracks on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, Hall’s success was mostly resigned to the jab, and would have benefited from using his power striking to fully stop Costa’s pressure. Victories over Bevon Lewis and Antonio Carlos Junior have seen Hall continue to use his jab, in addition to a cleaner addition of his famed kicking game. At thirty-six, Hall may finally have pieced together his cleanest offensive game to date.
Anderson Silva should have retired a long, long time ago. It is a terrible tale that is as old as time. A combat sports veteran who clutches on to their glory days and refuses to hang up their gloves. In fairness, Silva has continued to face the elite and performed admirably in all despite his age and wear and tear. Still, Silva’s record has taken a beating and there has been a clear regression in the physical gifts that Silva heavily relied upon for his counter-striking style. A wily veteran, Silva still oozes class in the octagon in terms of defensive positioning and head movement. His three-round fight against Adesanya was lopsided on the scorecards but Silva evaded all the significant shots thrown his way. Unfortunately, a leg kick loss to Jared Cannonier in his last fight illuminated Silva’s frail age. Five rounds is a big task for a forty-five-year-old vet, even if you are Anderson Silva.
Predicted Result: Uriah Hall TKO Round 5
Hall to finish this contest late. Silva hasn’t endured the damage expected from a twenty-two-year career, but with his style so reliant upon his physical attributes, he struggles to pull the trigger anymore. Silva will always be able to spy an opening, but his inability to capitalise with a hard counter, has left the Brazilian cruising to the scorecards without much of a fight. Hall too can be criticised for inactivity, but he is a powerful striker and seems to have put to bed any mental niggles that plagued him in the past.
Result: Hall def. Silva // TKO (punches) Round 4 1:24
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
Bryce Mitchell (13-0) vs Andre Fili (21-7)
Love him or hate him, Mitchell is going to be generating headlines sooner or later. Already fast becoming a fan favourite, Mitchell brings an all-action submission game to the octagon. As redneck as you could possibly imagine, Mitchell thrives on the ground but has already shown struggles with taking opponents down. At the lower levels of the roster, Mitchell will be able to mask his wrestling inefficiencies, but as he moves up the rankings he will have to work hard on his technique. Although Mitchell often finds himself in dangerous positions on the ground, his utmost confidence in his grappling is often his saviour. Against Charles Rosa, a solid grappler, he was able to bully the more experienced fighter and accrued almost thirteen minutes of control time. Ridiculous. Striking wise, Mitchell just about gets by, but it is unlikely he will need to work on it beyond tightening his defensive shell. Thug Nasty has a clear game plan and he ferociously sticks to it.
Andre Fili is an easy fighter to get behind. Fili is always game for a tear-up, and is more often hampered by his own mistakes rather than any technical limitations. Key to note is Fili has a victory over the ATG GOAT, Artem Lobov. In recent fights. Fili has more fluidly combined his kicking game with tighter boxing. Rather than winging wild hooks, Fili has tried to throw a high volume of straight shots that aim to mask his opponent’s vision. Moreover, Fili can wrestle and will often shoot a takedown in order to keep an opponent guessing. Against Mitchell, Fili would be best advised to keep this fight on the feet for all three rounds. While his 69% (lol) TDD seems impressive, digging a little deeper reveals Fili’s weaknesses as he was taken down twice by two out-and-out strikers, Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar.
Predicted Result: Mitchell Submission Round 2
Fili is a strong fighter who has honed his craft over the years into an admirably rounded skillset. Despite a lack of finishes on his record, Fili packs a punch (or in this case, a head kick) and could test the chin of Mitchell early. A questionable TDD, however, will allow Mitchell to pursue a takedown and drag Fili into a scary realm on the mat.
Result: Mitchell def. Fili // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Kevin Holland (19-5) vs Charlie Ontiveros (11-6)
Kevin Holland is fun as all hell. Since a rear-naked choke loss to Brendan Allen at the end of 2019, Holland has tore-apart his opposition post-lockdown. Crushing Anthony Hernandez in the clinch, Holland looked several weight classes the larger man as he landed knees at will. A three-round striking clinic against Joaquin Buckley has since aged like fine wine following Buckley’s highlight reel KO of Impa Kasanganay. While the split decision W over Darren Stewart was debatable, to say the least, Holland showed off some crisp offensive combinations after a shaky first round. Poor off of his back, it is clear Holland’s strong TDD is his only form of defence papering over his grappling vulnerability.
Promotional newcomer, Charlie Ontiveros, is also a short-notice opponent with a skill set that is hard to get excited for. There is no doubting the cajones of Ontiveros, but he is heavily outmatched against Holland. A long striker, Ontiveros may be able to frustrate Holland at a range that he has not yet faced. Moreover, Ontiveros carries power in his hands, at least at the regional level, with a series of first-round stoppages on his record. Sadly, Ontiveros has also been stopped by a whole lotta cans (sorry Rashid Abdullah).
Predicted Result: Holland TKO Round 1
Holland is a powerful sniper of a man who is not only athletically superior, but also technically polished beyond comparison. Holland will sit at a range and pick apart Ontiveros, before eventually cracking the questionable chin of the debutant.
Result: Holland def. Ontiveros // TKO (submission to slam) Round 1 2:39
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Greg Hardy (6-2) vs Maurice Greene (9-4)
Hardy surprised pretty much everyone when he stepped up to face Alexander Volkov at the end of 2019. Having fought just six professional fights and looking uncomfortable beyond the first round, Hardy took a massive step up in quality. Further surprise came when Hardy was able to last the full three rounds against Volkov, taking pretty minimal damage and looking competent in some of the exchanges. A striking shut-out, no doubt, but Hardy was not blown away in the fashion many thought a top-ten heavyweight would have. A weak performance against Yorgan De Castro highlighted Hardy’s inability to check leg kicks but also his mental strength to dig deep. A powerful striker, Hardy is too old to refine all aspects of his skill set, but if he can continue to work on creating the opportunities for his heavy hands to land, then he could still rise up the depressing division of Heavyweight.
Aiming to test an unknown aspect of Hardy’s game, Greene will surely enter the fight with the sole goal of taking his opponent to the mat. Defensively sloppy, Greene cannot afford to engage in a striking bout despite possessing his own power and a pretty tasty kicking game. No. On the mat is where Greene thrives and has a fairly punishing ground and pound which opens up submissions.
Predicted Result: Hardy TKO Round 1
Hardy’s lack of grappling could be exposed in this match-up, but I expect Greene will struggle to close the necessary distance to shoot for a takedown. While Greene could throw his powerful kicks to bait Hardy into taking the fight to the ground (ala Ryan Hall), it is more likely that Hardy will bull-rush his opponent and clean him out early.
Result: Hardy def. Greene // TKO (punches) Round 2 1:12
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
Bobby Green (27-10-1) vs Thiago Moisés (13-4)
2020 Bobby Green is a holy fighter. Revitalised by the pandemic, Green has fully focused on his craft and by God, does he look a threat in the Lightweight division. A scrappy victory over Clay Guida gathered little attention. A three-round domination over Lando Vannata began to turn people’s heads. Then another three-round clinic, this time over Alan Patrick, has started to raise questions over how far Green can progress this late into his career. Green is a groovy little counter-puncher who has fascinatingly not suffered a catastrophic brainfart in 2020 that used to plague his career. Oh, Green also has an incredibly strong TDD forcing opponent’s to engage on the feet.
Green is going to need to call upon his TDD if he wishes to be victorious against Thiago Moisés. The young Brazilian is a wizard on the mat, and is only held back by his fairly atrocious striking. Michael Johnson was piecing apart Moisés in the first-round, pushing Moisés back against the cage and landing at will. Then, out of nowhere, Moisés sprinted into a submission and secured an ankle lock twenty-five seconds into the second round. The speed, skill and heart shown by Moisés illustrates that he is never truly out of a fight.
Predicted Result: Green Decision
Green is riding a real wave of success that he has never experienced before in his long career. Having amassed a ridiculous level of experience while gatekeeping the Lightweight division, Green has the striking skills and TDD to make a real charge into the rankings. Moisés is a fine young fighter but the holes in his striking will be exposed by Green.
Result: Moisés def. Green // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Alexander Hernandez (11-3) vs Chris Gruetzemacher (14-3)
I am aware that I may be the only Alexander Hernandez fan remaining after his humbling to Donald Cerrone. A sketchy decision win over the madly underrated Francisco Trinaldo did little to boost the reputation of the out-spoken power wrestler. Instead, his last fight against Drew Dober was perceived as the first nail in the coffin of Hernandez’s UFC career. Unable to apply wrestling pressure that had seemed to come so easy at the start of his UFC tenure, Hernandez gassed himself out and was mercilessly beaten up on the feet. It seems tailor made then, that Hernandez has been matched up with a tame striker in Gruetzemacher. Hernandez should be able to comfortably duel on the feet, and inspire the confidence needed to secure a takedown.
Gruetzemacher is a brawler who looks great at the regional level, but is exposed against the big boys due to less than average athleticism. A stop and start career due to injuries, Gruetzemacher likes to press forward and only starts to tick having ate a few punches. While it has worked against other workmanlike strikers, he should be careful to willingly take strikes off of Hernandez. Moreover, Gruetzemacher will have to battle hard to keep this fight standing, as he is at a clear disadvantage on the ground.
Predicted Result: Hernandez TKO Round 3
Whether Hernandez is still mentally okay after two damaging stoppage losses, we do not really know. It would be nice to see the return of the fighter who ended Beneil Dariush in just forty-two seconds. No doubt a rematch between the two would sell like hotcakes.
Result: Hernandez def. Gruetzemacher // KO (punches) Round 1 1:46
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Adrian Yanez (11-3) vs Victor Rodriguez (7-2)
An exciting contender series fighter, Yanez is as solid a striker as you could hope for a prospect. Decent enough power, Yanez’s real strength is his technique and ability to apply calculated pressure from the get-go. Working behind his jab, Yanez is calm and composed when establishing the range, and lands his hooks at a frightening speed. In the clinch and on the ground, Yanez is pretty suspect, but he still has time to develop.
Victor Rodriguez is yet another late replacement. A lack of camp is unlikely to matter for Rodriquez who opts for an all-guns blazing approach regardless of the opponent. It is kill or be killed for the Alaskan. He could surprise Yanez early, but his sloppy volume punching will also provide ample opportunity for the composed Yanez to counter.
Predicted Result: Yanez TKO Round 1
The difference in striking quality is stark between the two men. Neither man will opt to wrestle, so with the fight remaining on the feet, the crisp boxing of Yanez will catch the open chin of Rodriquez fairly early.
Result: Yanez def. Rodriguez // KO (head kick) Round 1 2:46
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ✔️
Sean Strickland (20-3) vs Jack Marshman (23-9)
Sean… Strickland… now there is a name that I haven’t heard for many years (two to be exact). Since his second-round stoppage over the hit-or-miss Nordine Taleb in 2018, Strickland has been working through a two-year layoff after a terrible motorcycle accident. A gruesome injury to the kneecap, it is admirable that Strickland is returning, but the extent of damage is still unknown until Saturday night. As such, it is hard to say whether Strickland’s rugged wrestling will have remained the same.
Jack Marshman is an upgraded John Phillips. Marshman is not the finest technical striker, but his boxing is well-drilled and can out-work many wannabe strikers. Marshman also has a clearer fight intelligence and will actively avoid the fight being taken to the ground. Sadly, Marshman is also fairly pants when on his back.
Predicted Result: Marshman Decision
Strickland is the superior fighter in a hypothetical match-up between the two, yet the extent of his injuries sustained back in 2018 are unknown today. Strickland’s damaged kneecap is likely to affect his ability to wrestle effectively for extended periods, and Marshman will be able to out-hustle Strickland on the feet.
Result: Strickland def. Marshman // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Jason Witt (17-6) vs Cole Williams (11-2)
Jason Witt is a regional veteran who survived based on his ability to adapt to his opponent. Athletically average, Witt’s rounded game allowed him to make opponents uncomfortable by dragging them out of their preferred fight.
Cole Williams is a regional veteran who thrived against lesser opposition as they fell apart when facing his early striking blitzes. After a dangerous first round, Williams loses steam and labours through the rest of the contest.
Predicted Result: Witt Decision
A fairly awful fight that wouldn’t look amiss on the undercard of a Bellator card. Witt’s wrestling ability will probably sway the judges scorecards in his favour.
Result: Witt def. Williams // Submission (arm-triangle choke) Round 2 2:09
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Light Heavyweight (205)
Dustin Jacoby (12-5) vs Justin Ledet (9-3)
Jacoby’s career is a fun one to flick through. Predominantly a kickboxer, Jacoby has also dipped his toes into the boxing scene and now returns to MMA. Jacoby’s experience is clear in the clinch, where his lack of hand speed is hidden. Powerful control and willing to throw regularly, Jacoby is a decent watch.
Poor poor Ledet. Three wins to start his UFC career, three losses since. The loss to Johnny Walker was particularly damning, a fifteen second knockout in horrendous fashion. Ledet is not blessed with speed but he is a tight fighter who gives few opportunities for opponents to counter. This is usually because of his lack of volume. Move back to Heavyweight please.
Predicted Result: Ledet Decision
Another pretty crummy match, Ledet throws less volume but is unlikely to be tagged with anything too significant. Ledet’s refusal to start a combination with anything other than a jab may actually save him in this affair. Racking up his jab will win the scorecards.
Result: Jacoby def. Ledet // TKO (leg kicks and punches) Round 1 2:38
Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Women’s Flyweight (125)
Cortney Casey (9-8) vs Priscila Cachoeira (9-3)
Predicted Result: Casey Decision
No thank you.
Result: 🚫 CANCELLED FIGHT 🚫
Miles Johns (10-1) vs Kevin Natividad (9-1)
Miles John is so damn close to being added to the juicy bois list. If Johns and his natty body could return to his dominant wrestling, he would fare far better in the UFC. A hurtful top game which aims to inflict pain, Johns has employed only his striking in the UFC and has looked average at best.
Natividad is a fun grappler, who will happily shoot on the ankles of just about anyone. Natividad will be able to secure himself a takedown, and this may be the key to unlocking Johns’ grappling in the UFC.
Predicted Result: Johns Decision
A couple of decent young scrappers. If Johns could revert back to his fantastic wrestling, he will cruise past Natividad. On the feet, Johns’ athleticism will bridge any sort of technical gap between the two.
Result: Johns def. Natividad // KO (punch) Round 3 2:51
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
UFC Fight Night 181: Hall vs Silva
2020 MMA Season
Takeaway comments: Goodnight sweet Prince xxx