Uriah Hall sent his idol out on his shield.
The Fortis MMA standout overcame a slow start and perhaps some star-struck reverence, as he brought down former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva with punches in the fourth round of their UFC Fight Night 181 headliner on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Silva (34-11, 17-7 UFC) — who stopped short of announcing his retirement in the immediate aftermath — bowed out 1:24 into Round 4 in what may have been his final appearance inside the Octagon.
Hall (16-9, 9-7 UFC) let the Brazilian icon lead the dance for two-plus rounds, as “The Spider” leaned on lateral movement, a steady stream of leg kicks and occasional bursts of punches. Everything turned in the waning seconds of Round 3. There, Hall dropped the future hall of famer with an overhand right, followed with punches and appeared to be nearing a finish when the horn sounded. The one-minute respite between rounds was not enough for Silva to clear the cobwebs completely. Hall floored him with a counter right hook as he moved backward early in the fourth and sealed the 45-year-old legend’s fate with standing-to-ground punches.
Determined Mitchell Sinks Fili
Repeated takedowns, top control and positional advances carried “The Ultimate Fighter 27” semifinalist Bryce Mitchell to a unanimous decision over Andre Fili in the three-round featherweight co-main event. Mitchell (14-0, 5-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 marks from the cageside judges.
Fili (21-8, 9-7 UFC) made the Arkansas native work for every inch of ground he gained. Mitchell executed takedowns in all three rounds, achieved full mount on multiple occasions and threatened with a few submissions, all while incorporating rough-around-the-edges but effective standup. Fili was at his best in Round 2, where he connected with a flying knee, utilized an effective jab and had more success staying off of his back. However, he could not hold off Mitchell forever. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt struck for multiple takedowns in the third round and took the final steps toward his most significant victory to date.
The 30-year-old Fili’s last four losses have come by decision.
Heavy-Handed Hardy Batters Greene
Former NFL All-Pro Greg Hardy disposed of Jackson-Wink MMA rep Maurice Greene with punches in the second round of their heavyweight feature. Greene (9-5, 4-3 UFC) met his end 72 seconds into Round 2, as he lost for third time in four starts.
Hardy (7-2, 4-2 UFC) brought too much firepower to the table. The Rashad Evans-Din Thomas protégé drove Greene to the floor with right hands in the first round, assaulted him with hammerfists — referee Herb Dean also warned him for gouging the eyes — and settled in half guard before cutting loose with high-impact elbows. Early in the middle stanza, Hardy dropped “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 28 semifinalist with a stiff jab and sealed the deal with unanswered punches and hammerfists.
Still just 32 years of age, Hardy has finished six of his seven career wins by knockout or technical knockout.
Holland Bullies Newcomer Ontiveros
Dana White’s Contender Series alum Kevin Holland dismissed Charlie Ontiveros in the first round of their featured middleweight pairing. Ontiveros (11-7, 0-1 UFC), who entered his Octagon debut on the strength of back-to-back victories in the Fury Fighting Championship promotion, verbally submitted to an apparent neck injury 2:39 into Round 1.
Holland (20-5, 7-2 UFC) executed an early takedown, applied his ground-and-pound with rapid-fire elbows from side control and floated from one advantageous position to another before the fighters returned to an upright position. However, Ontiveros failed to gain separation and paid a painful price. Holland secured a body lock and slammed the taekwondo stylist back to the canvas almost immediately, prompting the stoppage once his opponent made it known he had suffered an injury upon impact.
The 27-year-old Holland has rattled off four straight wins.
Moises Outduels Elusive Green
American Top Team’s Thiago Moises won for the fifth time in seven appearances, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over Bobby Green in a closely contested three-round lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Moises (14-4, 3-2 UFC).
Green (27-11-1, 8-6-1 UFC) maintained a steady pace and struck in combination with punches and kicks, but he failed to exact much a of a visible toll on the Brazilian. Moises opened a significant cut above the former King of the Cage champion’s right eye, held serve in the scrambles, threatened with a series of leg locks in the second round and mixed in a few takedowns to keep the American guessing.
The setback closed the book on Green’s three-fight winning streak.
Prelims: Razor-Sharp Hernandez Flattens Gruetzemacher
Factory X standout Alexander Hernandez buried Chris Gruetzemacher with punches in the first round of their featured lightweight prelim. Gruetzemacher (14-4, 2-3 UFC) succumbed to blows 1:46 into Round 1, as “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 22 quarterfinalist lost for the third time in four outings.
In his first assignment since he linked arms with trainer Marc Montoya, Hernandez (12-3, 4-2 UFC) was sharp from the start. The 28-year-old walked through a couple of leg kicks, stunned Gruetzemacher with some shin-to-skull contact and sat him down with a sneaky left hook. Hernandez then pressed his reeling counterpart to the fence and cut loose with both hands, unleashing an exquisite multi-punch volley that necessitated the stoppage.
Hernandez has won 10 of his last 12 fights.
In other undercard action, Dana White’s Contender Series graduate Adrian Yanez (12-3, 1-0 UFC) knocked out Victor Rodriguez (5-3, 0-1 UFC) with a head kick 2:46 into the first round of their bantamweight battle; Former King of the Cage champion Sean Strickland (21-3, 8-3 UFC) took a unanimous decision from an overweight Jack Marshman (23-10, 3-5 UFC) in a three-round welterweight tilt, drawing 30-27 marks from all three judges; Glory MMA’s Jason Witt (18-6, 1-1 UFC) submitted an overweight Cole Williams (11-3, 0-2 UFC) with an arm-triangle choke 2:09 into the second round of their welterweight encounter; Factory X representative Dustin Jacoby (13-5, 1-2 UFC) cut down Justin Ledet (9-4, 3-4 UFC) with leg kicks and punches 2:38 into the first round of their heavyweight scrap; and former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Miles Johns (11-1, 2-1 UFC) knocked out promotional newcomer Kevin Natividad (9-2, 0-1 UFC) with a hellacious uppercut 2:51 into the third round of their bantamweight affair.