Hall (16-9 MMA, 9-7 UFC) finished Silva (34-11 MMA, 17-7 UFC), a longtime former middleweight champion and certain future UFC Hall of Famer, with a fourth-round TKO. The end came at the 1:24 mark of the frame, and came on the heels of a near-finish for Hall at the end of the third round.
After the finish, Hall knelt on the canvas with Silva and appeared to sob and told him he loved him. “You’re the reason why I’m doing this. You’re still one of the greatest,” Hall told Silva after apologizing for beating him. Silva could be heard telling Hall he can win a title and to do his best.
“Today, Uriah was the best. I’m enjoying my moment,” Silva said after the fight. “Today is the final day. I’m so happy to be here … I don’t know. First, I’ll go back home. … Then, let’s go see. It’s tough to say it’s my last or not. This is what I do for my entire life and with my entire heart. Let’s go see.”
The middleweight bout was the UFC on ESPN+ 39 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It streamed on ESPN+.
It took 75 seconds before Hall pumped off a couple jabs. Silva answered with a leg kick, but the action was minimal through the first half of the first round. But midway through, Silva landed a left, then a front kick to the leg. He pushed Hall back with a body kick, then threw a big left hand that had Hall on the backpedal. Silva tried to swarm, then pulled back. With 80 seconds left, Silva pulled out some of his prototypical hand movements, then tried a spinning back kick. Silva put a combination together, but ate a jab soon after not long before the horn.
The first half of the second frame was largely one-and-done striking for each fighter. Silva circled to the outside, and Hall let him without forcing much. He started to put a little more pressure on with 90 seconds left in the round. With 45 seconds left, Hall landed a solid spinning kick that caught Silva in the left arm.
The third round was similar to the first two given the striking took a couple minutes to pick up anything resembling steam. There was hand fighting a-plenty in the middle frame. Hall landed a spinning kick to the body just past the midway mark, but it was nothing that slowed Silva down. With 90 seconds left, Silva’s jab started to do its work, and he slowed Hall down with a punch to the eye. With a minute left, they tied up for the first time in the fight. Silva pressed Hall to the cage and stomped his foot.
With 30 seconds left, Hall broke away and landed a right hand. Soon after, he knocked Silva from his feet with a right hand and landed several big punches on the canvas while Silva held on to a leg in defense and was saved by the bell.
The fourth round started slowly, but a little past a minute into the frame, Hall again knocked Silva down with a right when Silva left himself open with an aggressive push forward. Hall immediately followed him to the canvas and landed punches there until he got the stoppage.
The win was Hall’s third straight and fourth in five fights. It came in his first UFC main event. Silva lost for the seventh time in eight fights and has just one win since October 2012. Silva hasn’t made anything official, but it’s been widely reported this was going to be his final fight.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN+ 39 results include:
Uriah Hall def. Anderson Silva via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 1:24
Bryce Mitchell def. Andre Fili via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Greg Hardy def. Maurice Greene via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:12
Kevin Holland def. Charlie Ontiveros via verbal submission (injury) – Round 1, 2:39
Thiago Moises def. Bobby Green via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexander Hernandez def. Chris Gruetzemacher via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:46
Adrian Yanez def. Victor Rodriguez via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 2:46
Sean Strickland def. Jack Marshman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jason Witt def. Cole Williams via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:09
Dustin Jacoby def. Justin Ledet via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:38
Miles Johns def. Kevin Natividad via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 2:51