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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 39 Report: Hall Wins

November 1, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
#10 Uriah Hall (186 lbs.) vs. Anderson Silva (184 lbs.)
Andre Fili (146 lbs.) vs. #15 Bryce Mitchell (146 lbs.)
Maurice Greene (250 lbs.) vs. Greg Hardy (264.5 lbs.)
Kevin Holland (185.5 lbs.) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (182.5 lbs.)
Bobby Green (155 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (156 lbs.)

Chris Gruetzemacher (155.5 lbs.) vs. Alexander Hernandez (155.5 lbs.)
Victor Rodriquez (133 lbs.) vs. Adrian Yanez (135.5 lbs.)
Jack Marshman (187.5 lbs.)* vs. Sean Strickland (185.5 lbs.)
Cole Williams (175.5 lbs.)* vs. Jason Witt (170.5 lbs.)
Dustin Jacoby (204 lbs.) vs. Justin Ledet (205.5 lbs.)
Miles Johns (135 lbs.) vs. Kevin Natividad (134.5 lbs.)

Happy Halloween everyone, and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 39. I’m Robert Skinfree (Simpsons style name puns just make me kind of happy this time of year) and I’ll be your host for the evening. Tonight ostensibly marks the end of a true MMA and UFC legend when former middleweight champion and all time great Anderson Silva walks to the octagon for the final time. Probably, one can never be too sure about these things but both Silva and UFC President Dana White have been pretty vocal about this being Silva’s last time in the UFC. Whether he does a Bellator retirement tour after this remains to be seen. His opponent is the dangerous striker Uriah Hall who’s looking for the highest profile win of his career. Also on this card featherweights Andre Fili and Bryce Mitchell clash in what should be a good fight, and Bobby Green looks to continue the best run of his career against submission ace Thiago Moises. So let’s hope the fights are good, and since this is on Halloween there had better be blood.

UFC on ESPN+ 39 comes to the world from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping. As for the rules, Nevada uses a hybrid set. They’ve adopted most of the changes but you still only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed, and they let refs have instant replay whenever they want and can restart a fight if they deem it necessary. That last point led to some serious confusion a few weeks ago, but that is the current set of rules and guidelines from the NSAC. Apparently they also brought in a review official who can signal for a pause if they see something in replay that they want examined. Kind of nice, and much needed given how hard the referees job is.

Oh, don’t forget that daylight saving ends tonight for most states here in the USA so remember to set the clocks back tonight.

Miles Johns has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a pretty brutal loss, now he’s trying to rebound and avoid his first ever losing streak. Kevin Natividad brings a five fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s hoping to keep that going and make a good first impression to the UFC audience. The odds are with Johns at -155 to a +130 comeback on Natividad.

Bantamweight Bout: Miles Johns (10-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Kevin Natividad (9-1, 134.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johns is an inch taller but Natividad has four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men showing the lead hand early, Johns lands a calf kick. Solid jab from Johns. Natividad gets close, but Johns ducks for a double leg and they hit the fence. Johns switches to a single leg but Natividad defends and gets free. Both men are backing straight up when pressured, something to keep an eye on. Johns lands another jab. More jabs from Johns, then a calf kick. Natividad is struggling with that lead hand of Johns, he needs either a counter or some other answer to it. Single leg from Johns, Natividad back up immediately but he did eat a right on the way up. Natividad misses a jumping knee. More jabs from Johns, those are heavy jabs not the annoying flicking kind. Natividad backs things to the fence and tries to punch but Johns ducks under and clinches him then spins him to the fence. Johns can’t keep control and they wind up separated. Natividad is starting to work combinations, Johns is covering up and backing up when pressed. They circle away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johns

ROUND TWO: Both men showing the lead hand again. Johns lands a front kick to the body and some more jabs. Natividad is the one coming forward but he’s struggling to find effective offense. Right to the body from Natividad. Johns still landing the jab. Single leg from Johns, Natividad wall walks but can’t get free yet. Knees to the thigh from Johns, Natividad isn’t able to get free as readily this time. The ref separates them after a bit. Johns back to jabbing, Natividad is jabbing with him more now though. Both men landing jabs now. Natividad misses a jumping knee and Johns misses a right hook. Johns lands a couple more hard jabs, Natividad is walking onto those about half the time. Calf kick from Johns. Natividad tries a double leg, they wind up clinched at distance then a spinning back fist from Johns partially lands on the break. Body kick from Natividad. Johns tries another single leg that hits the fence. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johns, 20-18 Johns overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Johns back to jabbing and circling. Bit of a right from Natividad. Right from Johns. Bit of a right from Natividad, Johns lands a left hook. Natividad is fighting like he needs a finish, which he probably does. Johns lands a calf kick. Another jab from Johns. They split a few jabs. Johns lands another calf kick. Double leg attempt from Johns hits the fence and stalls out. Natividad is defending, he’s occasionally looking for a ninja choke but can’t find it. As they circle off the fence Johns lands a right uppercut that ENDS Natividad.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Miles Johns via KO, punch, at 2:51 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Johns for his work this evening. Johns gets an interview after that, they’re back to remote interviews for this event. He talks about working on his jab a bit as well as finding offense in the in between spots, such as breaking from a clinch. The finish felt amazing especially after losing his last one, then talks us through the finish. He wishes Happy Birthday to his pregnant wife and hopes that will get him a post fight bonus.

You can see Natividad duck his head into the punch, he might have been expecting that punch to come over the shoulder but instead Johns fires the uppercut. The punch lands, the mouthpiece goes flying, and Natividad is out.

Dustin Jacoby went 0-2 in the UFC from 2011-2012, now on a two fight winning streak including a win on the Contender Series he’s back and trying for his first UFC win. Justin Ledet was undefeated at heavyweight but has gone 0-3 since dropping to light heavyweight, he’s hoping to break that skid with a much needed win. Jacoby is a surprisingly heavy -370 favorite to a tempting +290 payout on Ledet.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Dustin Jacoby (12-5, 204 lbs.) vs. Justin Ledet (9-3 1 NC, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ledet is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Some feinting from Ledet early. Jacoby working his kicking game. One two from Jacoby lands flush. Ledet lands a few jabs, then a bit of a right. Jacoby lands a calf kick but the jab from Ledet is lighting him up a bit. Ledet lands a one two and they trade calf kicks. More calf kicks from Ledet, one drops Ledet and Jacoby looks to unload on the mat. Ledet back up, but a straight from from Jacoby floors Ledet and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dustin Jacoby via TKO, punches, at 2:38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Jacoby for his work this evening. Mic time for Jacoby, he gets a little emotional about his first UFC win. He talks about wanting to work the leg and body of Ledet to set up for later, he feels he’s one of the best strikers in the world. He talks us through the finish, then wants to have a quick turnaround after the win.

You have to have an answer to the calf kick in modern MMA, here they’ve added up very quickly and Jacoby chops Ledet down. From there he lets him back up and drops him again with an uppercut to prompt the finish.

Cole Williams missed weight rather badly for this fight, he also suffered a loss a little over a year ago when he made his UFC debut. Now with a weight miss in addition to being winless in the UFC he needs a win pretty badly. Jason Witt had a four fight winning streak broken in his UFC debut earlier this year, and just like his opponent he’s trying to get his first UFC win. Witt is the -160 favorite to +135 on Williams.

Welterweight Bout: Cole Williams (11-2, 175.5 lbs.) vs. Jason Witt (17-6, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Williams is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage, plus the hefty weight miss. They touch gloves to get us going. Witt doing some stance switching early, he tries a single leg then switches to a double and gets Williams down. Williams tries to wall walk, Witt moves around to the ride position. They move to the mat flat, Williams has half guard and quickly gets full guard. Witt lands a couple of short blows. Body to head punches from Witt as he looks to control and try to pass. There’s a pretty good rate of offense from Witt, short elbows and hammer fists. More elbows from Witt. Witt lands more blows, Williams is kind of a turtle off of his back thus far. More elbows, and Williams is cut over the left eye. There’s a fair bit of blood coming out of Williams, Witt with a last flurry to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Witt

ROUND TWO: That cut is more on the forehead, it’s well above the eyebrow and wont prompt a stoppage between rounds. Williams coming forward this round, Witt with leg kicks and long range punches. Witt lands a body kick. Double leg from Witt and he lifts then slams Williams to the other side of the cage. A knee shield from Williams is all that’s preventing mount for Witt. Some lefts from Witt and he’s in full mount now. Williams gives up the back, nearly gets choked but gives up mount to save himself. Witt is riding from full mount to back mount, he gets an arm triangle during one of those transitions and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jason Witt via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 2:09 of Round 2

Mic time for Witt after the finish, he feels great after the win and mentions his plan was always wrestling especially after Williams missed weight.

There was some blood, I just hope there’s more to come. The arm triangle is fairly standard, Williams gets stuck on a hip for a moment and Witt locks it up as he rolls to his back. One pass to side control later and Witt forces the tap.

Sean Strickland has traded wins and losses going 3-2 in his last five fights, but more relevant is that his last fight was almost exactly two years ago. Strickland did win his last fight and is trying to get his first winning streak since 2016 going. Jack Marshman has gone 3-4 in the UFC but missed weight here and is coming off of a loss. Marshman needs a win to help smooth over the weight gaff as well as trying to get his UFC record back to the .500 mark. Strickland is a hefty -380 favorite to a +300 comeback on Marshman.

Middleweight Bout: Jack Marshman (23-9, 187.5 lbs.) vs. Sean Strickland (20-3, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Strickland is an inch taller and has three inches of reach advantage in addition to Marshman missing weight. They touch gloves to get us going. Strickland moving forward and looking to jab. One two from Strickland. Marshman trying to swing the overhand but not finding it much. Strickland working his lead hand. Marshman lands a left hook, and eats one as well. Strickland lands a right. Right then a left hook from Strickland land and Marshman might be a little wobbled as he circles away. Strickland lands a couple of rights to the body. Marshman keeps trying a calf kick but Strickland is checking them. Double jab and a right from Strickland, he’s teeing off along the fence now. Marshman is tough but he’s getting picked apart by the superior technician. Both men land heavy rights, Marshman landed better but Strickland stays in his face. They kind of circle away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Strickland

ROUND TWO: Strickland coming forward again. Jabs from Strickland and a front kick to the body. Both men land rights again but Strickland landed better this time. Marshman keeps walking into punches, Strickland has a much better feel for the range and he’s touching Marshman up. There’s a small cut under the right eye of Marshman now, those jabs are adding up. More jabs from Strickland, Marshman is swinging a little wild as he keeps missing. One two from Strickland. More misses from Marshman and Strickland is continuing to land clean punches. A one two from Strickland lands, Marshman misses some offense and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Strickland, 20-18 Strickland overall

ROUND THREE: More of the same as the round begins. Strickland keeps landing one twos now while Marshman is missing most of his punches. Cuts under both of Marshman’s eyes now I think. Right from Strickland, he’s really working over Marshman now. Stiff jab from Strickland. Marshman digs the body a few times. They’re having a full blown conversation as they’re hitting each other, kind of great. Strickland lands a right. More jabs from Strickland, then a bit of a head kick. Marshman lands a left to the body. Combination from Marshman, he’s still trying. We get some brawling for the final thirty seconds or so to close things.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Strickland, 30-27 Strickland overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sean Strickland via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Moderately entertaining bout, and a great return from injury and layoff from Strickland. No interview for Strickland though.

Adrian Yanez is making his UFC debut on the back of a Contender Series win and a four fight winning streak, now he’s trying to extend that streak and make a good first impression to the wider UFC audience. Victor Rodriguez took this fight on fairly short notice but does have a four fight winning streak with all of those being TKO finishes, he’s likewise trying to capitalize on the opportunity to fight for the UFC. Yanez is a near prohibitive -490 favorite to +370 for Rodriguez.

Bantamweight Bout: Victor Rodriquez (7-2, 133 lbs.) vs. Adrian Yanez (11-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yanez is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Yanez working the left early, Rodriguez pushes into a clinch and gets things to fence. Some knees go back and forth as they jockey for position. They separate without incident. Bit of a left from Yanez, Rodriguez lands a right. Rodriguez is coming forward and swinging for everything he’s worth. Yanez lands a counter right of his own. Right and left from Yanez, he’s got Rodriguez backing up. Another right drops Rodriguez, he’s back up and swinging back but Yanez is staying methodical and picking him apart. Yanez with a right and head kick to end things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Adrian Yanez via KO, head kick, at 2:46 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Yanez for his work this evening. Mic time for Yanez after the first round finish, he calls the last few months motivating and he wont get comfortable just being in the UFC. He talks us through the finish, then calls this a big moment and talks about his late father who supported this dream.

Check the sneaky switch to southpaw here. Yanez backs Rodriguez up with rights to the head, then switches southpaw to give Rodriguez an angle to “escape” from but when he moves that way he’s going right into a full power left head kick.

Chris Gruetzemacher has gone 2-2 in the UFC but did beat Joe Lauzon so badly his corner actually stopped the fight between rounds in his last fight, unfortunately that fight was back in April of 2018 and now he’s got to try and recapture some momentum after a significant layoff. Speaking of trying to recapture momentum we have Alexander Hernandez who burst into the UFC in a big way but has gone just 4-2 in the promotion overall and is coming off of a TKO loss to Drew Dober. Hernandez needs a win rather badly as he’s in danger of falling completely off the radar in the most competitive division in the sport. Hernandez is a big favorite at -420 while Gruetzemacher’s comeback sits at +330.

Lightweight Bout: Chris Gruetzemacher (14-3, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Alexander Hernandez (11-3, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hernandez is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Gruetzemacher comes out with leg kicks early. Hernandez kicks with him and they just trade kicks for a bit. Some stance switching from Hernandez. Right from Hernandez lands. Another right from Hernandez, he’s looking quite good so far. Bit of a right from Gruetzemacher. Hernandez lands another right, then a bit of a head kick. That right from Hernandez can’t seem to miss. Hernandez unloads along the fence and hits a four punch combination that ENDS Gruetzemacher.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexander Hernandez via TKO, punches, at 1:46 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Hernandez for his work this evening. Mic time for Hernandez after that, he feels incredible and feels he’s defeated himself in all of his losses but after a lot of effort and time he finally feels like he’s really here. He says he loves the process again for the first time in a while and is ready for whatever the UFC wants. Asked about the future he’d like a fight before Christmas.

This is just a brutal finishing series of punches, looks a little like Phil Baroni’s famous finish against the fence.

That will wrap up the prelims, we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card though.

Bobby Green has finally found his footing in the UFC lately, he’s on a three fight winning streak and with a fourth consecutive win here he could get a step up to a more visible position or opponent for his next bout. Thiago Moises has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a submission win over Michael Johnson though and if he can earn his first UFC winning streak at the expense of Green it could be the biggest win of his career to date. The odds are with Green at -310 to a +250 payout for Moises.

Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green (27-10-1, 155 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (13-4, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Green is an inch taller and has half an inch of reach advantage, he’s also a full nine years older. Both men feinting early, just getting a feel for each other. Green blocks a high kick then takes a calf kick. Moises tries another high kick, partially lands. Green doing stance switching, he seems to favor southpaw right now. Body shot from Green then they both miss punches. Left from Green lands. Moises tries for a double leg, they hit the fence and gets it back into the center of the cage. Green back up and slips Moises over the top and gets on top in north-south position. Moises to his knees while Green holds a front headlock. They’re back up, Green lands a heavy knee to the body and separates. Bit of a left from Green as he’s backing Moises up. That left from southpaw is working for Green now. Right from Green now in close. A lot of body work coming from Green. Moises lands a couple of rights. Green punches the body again and they both miss punches. A few front kicks from Green to the body. A final clash where Moises lands a left ends the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Green but a competitive round

ROUND TWO: Green avoids a few punches and lands a left. Bit of a knee from Moises then a blocked head kick. Green lands a right that off balances Moises for a second. A few stabbing front kicks from Green, then he tries a takedown on the fence. Green on the single leg, trips Moises down and lands in half guard. Moises wall walks but eats some offense along the way. Moises keeps the clinch and slips around to the back holding a rear waist lock. Moises drops down for a straight ankle lock, might be switching towards a heel hook, no that’s still a straight ankle lock. Green is fighting the lock correctly and looking to separate, he gets free and we’re back up. Green back to jabbing the body as he’s got Moises on the fence. Moises might have gassed himself a bit, and the body work from Green isn’t helping his gas tank. Green still working the body to set up the head blows. Moises lands a bit of a right. Green punches into a clinch and they hit the fence. They break without incident. Moises misses a spinning kick. Green lands a couple of lefts. A kick to the knee from Green, then a flying knee attempt. Moises blocks a jumping kick and lands a bit of a right to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Moises but another close one, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Both men feinting again. Green working the front kick to the body. Bit of a left from Green and he avoids the counters. Moises lands a leg kick. Green lands to the body again. Moises lands a calf kick. Green lands a left, he’s landing stomp kicks to the thigh/knee of Moises. Both men miss punches. Green avoids a spinning kick. Both men land rights. Green evades a high kick. There’s a clinch from Green, he gets a takedown along the fence and lands punches as Moises regains his feet. Moises is after a single leg, Green tries a kimura roll but loses the grip. Green looking to wall walk now but Moises moves around to his back. One hook in for Moises but he loses it almost immediately. Green is looking for a switch but he can’t find it. Another switch attempt but he can’t get it. Some punches from Moises but Green is up and free then lands a punch of his own. Jabs are traded, we get some evasion from Green and a right as the clock winds down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Moises but I expect scores to be all over the place for this one, 29-28 Moises overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Thiago Moises via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Apparently I got rounds 1 and 2 very off, most people gave Green the second clearly while 1 is the swing round. Moises does get an interview, he’s very happy with the win and he wants a ranked opponent next now that he’s got a winning streak. He notes his striking is coming along, then reiterates he wants a top fifteen guy next. He specifically mentions maybe Donald Cerrone (I don’t think he’s ranked) or Alexander Hernandez, or possibly Diego Ferreira.

This next fight started life as Krzysztof Jotko vs. Makhumd Muradov if you can believe it. Kevin Holland is on a three fight winning streak, though he was fortunate to win his last fight as most people (including Holland) thought he lost it. If Holland can get to four in a row here he might be due another step up in class for his next opponent. Charlie Ontiveros took this fight on very short notice replacing Makhmud Muradov, but he’s won his last two fights and could score the biggest win of his career if he upsets the more UFC proven Holland. Holland is a massive -800 favorite to +550 for Ontiveros.

Middleweight Bout: Kevin Holland (19-5, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (11-6, 182.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Holland is an inch taller and has a whopping seven inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Ontiveros opens southpaw. Holland misses a right and eats a right that drops him for a second. Ax kick from Ontiveros partially lands. Holland bulls forward and gets a takedown into side control. North-south now for Holland. Ontiveros keeps wrapping the head and trying for a sweep but he’s muscling it and that’s letting Holland counter him with technique. Holland lands some elbows to the head and punches to the body. Ontiveros doesn’t seem to have a good feel for how to get up from here, he’s just trying to roll Holland over by leveraging his head and that isn’t going to work. Ontiveros finally back up but he can’t get free and Holland rag dolls him back to the mat. Something happened on that takedown and Ontiveros gave up, something’s wrong with him as he’s on the mat.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kevin Holland via Verbal Submission, neck injury, at 2:39 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Holland for his work this evening. Holland is the first person to get to four wins in 2020 in the UFC, and he jaws with the cage side champion Israel Adesanya for a bit. Not sure what caused that ending yet. OK, it sounds like Ontiveros complained to the ref about his neck which prompted that. Holland gets an interview, he really wants to fight someone with more of a name as he’s been dealing with a lot of late notice replacement fighters. He references some kind of beef with Adesanya and would really like that fight. He would like one more fight before the end of the year, he claims he’s not even tired right now.

You can kind of hear Ontiveros complaining about the injury to the ref here, the slam or something in the immediate aftermath seemed to injure him. Neck injuries are nothing to joke about, hopefully it’s not serious.

Maurice Greene just broke a two fight losing streak when he submitted Gian Villante with one of the most hilariously heavyweight kinds of finishes you’ll see. Greene is hoping to get another UFC winning streak up and running, and claim arguably his highest profile win given his opponents notoriety. Greg Hardy needed two attempts to make weight for this fight, but he did win his last fight despite that being one of the dirt worst fights of 2020 and could get another UFC winning streak up and running here. Hardy is a hefty favorite but I missed the specific numbers, my bad.

Heavyweight Bout: Maurice Greene (9-4, 250 lbs.) vs. Greg Hardy (6-2 1 NC, 264.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Greene is two inches taller but the reach is identical. They touch gloves to get us going. Greene opens with a leg kick. Hardy catches a kick and gets a takedown, he’s landing hammer fists and punches from on top as Greene looks to work his half guard along the fence. Elbows to the body from Hardy. Greene is sneaking in an Ezekiel choke, Hardy postures through it and lands a couple of elbows. Hardy stands free and makes Greene stand back up. Greene doing some stance switching. Both men miss kicks. Yeah, they’re both kind of gassed. Some leg kicks go back and forth, as they’re circling and sucking wind. Bit of a jab from Greene. Bit of a body shot from Hardy. A few punches miss for both men as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hardy

ROUND TWO: Hardy got warned between rounds for his finger positioning on the ground being near the eyes. Both men with leg kicks and missed punches. Greene does stance switching but he’s taking some leg kicks along the way. Left from Hardy drops Greene, he jumps on him on the mat and this time he’s able to force the stoppage after a bit.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Greg Hardy via TKO, punches, at 1:12 of Round 2

This concludes your regularly scheduled walrus fight. Hardy has managed to get enough wind back to be interviewed, he’s glad to have won and be back to his normal form. He thanks Din Thomas and Rashad Evans for all of their work and feels like he’s finally growing into a real fighter. Asked about the future he jokes about fighting next week.

If you’re interested in the finish, here it is.

Bryce Mitchell is undefeated including four wins in the UFC, he’s taking a step up in class here but with increased risk come the potential for increased rewards as a win here would push him higher up the competitive featherweight rankings. Andre Fili seems to have finally found a bit of consistency as he’s 3-1 in his last four fights and coming off of a win, if he can turn back a rising contender like Mitchell he might be due a bigger name opponent next as well. Mitchell is a slight -130 favorite to +110 for Fili.

Featherweight Bout: Andre Fili (21-7, 146 lbs.) vs. #15 Bryce Mitchell (13-0, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Fili is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Mitchell. Both men probing early with kicks. Mitchell working inside leg kicks and side kicks to the body. Single leg from Mitchell, Fili back up but not free and he’s tripped down again. Mitchell in half guard looking to pass. Actually it looks like Mitchell has the legs mounted, he does and is looking to slide up the body. Fili explodes up, gets mat returned right away. Fili is fighting for his guard, gets it back but Mitchell passes to side control fairly quickly. Knee on belly for Mitchell, Fili explodes up but is dragged back down. Mitchell has the back briefly and lands punches as Fili gives up mount. Short elbows from Mitchell on top. Fili keeps trying to shrimp but Mitchell’s top control is impressive. Punches from Mitchell, Fili gets butterfly guard but Mitchell passes immediately. This passing game is sick. Mitchell rolls for a triangle from mount, Fili escapes and makes him stand up again. Fili trying to jab, Mitchell lands a right and gets another takedown into half guard. Body shots from Mitchell as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Mitchell but that’s borderline

ROUND TWO: Fili jabbing early, eats a left from Mitchell. Another left from Mitchell lands. Fili sprawls away from a double leg and scrambles away from Mitchell. Some stance switching from Mitchell now. Bit of a right from Mitchell. Fili lands a jab. Both men jab while they’re looking for other options. Jumping knee from Fili gets Mitchell backing up. Right from Mitchell stuns Fili and he’s after a takedown that stalls on the fence. Mitchell is after the double leg, cant’ get it and they trade knees then break. Fili lands a one two to counter a leg kick. High kick form Mitchell but that was almost in slow motion. Double leg from Mitchell hits the fence again. Mitchell after a high crotch and trips Fili down then mounts the legs immediately. Punches from Mitchell from top position. Half guard now, Mitchell is trying for another pass to full mount. Fili wraps the head, Mitchell moves to a Von Flue choke and Fili has to bail on the head control. Elbows from Mitchell. Fili bridges off of the fence and regains his feet. Fili lands a head kick, and shucks off a takedown attempt to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fili, 19-18 Mitchell overall

ROUND THREE: Fili moving lightly, he eats a series of rights. Another right from Mitchell. Mitchell punches into a double leg and he’s got Fili down in open space. Fili closes his guard, Mitchell working body to head ground and pound. Fili is trying to work towards the fence, Mitchell is working blows but not really looking to pass yet. Fili fights up, and is single legged immediately into half guard. There’s a sweep from Fili, he’s on top now. Mitchell back up and Fili separates. Clubbing right from Mitchell and he gets another double leg. Some short blows from Mitchell to the body and head. Mitchell passes to side control then full mount. Fili gets half guard back but he’s running out of time to do anything. Mitchell to full mount again. Fili shrimps to full guard but he’s still flat on his back. Elbow from Fili, Mitchell responds in kind. Both men landing punches and elbows. Fili is trying to work his guard but Mitchell reads the attempts and lands blows. Mitchell lands a punch. Fili lands an elbow but Mitchell postures up and tees off. Fili up, double legged and that will end the fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mitchell, 29-27 Mitchell overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bryce Mitchell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)

I’m kind of surprised Mitchell got the second, but he pretty easily took the first and third. Mic time for Mitchell, he says he does better in the gym than this and has stuff to work on. He mentions specifically not letting himself get swept, he’s got a nasty cut over the right eyebrow from those elbows at the end. He promises to fight until he can’t fight anymore.

The UFC announces the return of The Ultimate Fighter which no one actually wants. In March of 2021 apparently it’s returning exclusively on ESPN+. Oh good, then no one will watch it at least on a streaming platform. The season will feature middleweights and bantamweights and they’re doing virtual tryouts right now.

Uriah Hall is on a two fight winning streak and finally seems to have found a measure of consistency after nearly eight years in the UFC, this is is first UFC main event since 2016 when he was bested by Gegard Mousasi but he’s facing down one of the true icons of the sport tonight and could make his career with a memorable win. Anderson Silva is one of the very greatest MMA fighters of all time, he still holds the record for longest UFC winning streak at a whopping 16 and his record for consecutive title defenses was only recently bested by Demetrious Johnson. That said Silva has clearly been in decline lately as he’s just 1-6 with 1 No Contest in his last eight fights, he’s on a two fight losing streak and has indicated this will be his final UFC fight. If this truly is Silva’s swan song in the UFC he’ll be looking to go out with one more memorable finish. The odds are with Hall at -240 to a +200 comeback on Silva.

Middleweight Bout: #10 Uriah Hall (15-9, 186 lbs.) vs. Anderson Silva (34-10 1 NC, 184 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Silva is two inches taller while Hall has two and a half inches of reach advantage, and Silva is nine years older than Hall. Southpaw for Silva. Some slow circling from both men, just getting a feel for the fight. Both men doing some stance switching now. Hall starting to show the jab. They trade leg kicks. Silva starting to feint more, has a high kick blocked. Hall slips throwing a head kick. Silva comes forward with punches, landed a bit of a left. Some kicks to the knee now from Silva, he lands a couple of rights and a left then a body kick. Glancing left from Silva, Hall is backing up now and Silva is stalking him down. Silva giving ground now, starts coming forward again and lands a spinning leg kick. Jab from Hall, and another one. Combination from Silva, partially lands. Silva lands a front kick to the body, Hall with a jab. A Silva jab to the body closes the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Silva

ROUND TWO: Silva bouncing around, and both men working the jab again. Side kick to the body from Silva. Glancing front kick from Silva. Silva keeps picking at Hall at distance, either with front kicks or side kicks to the body. Jab from Silva. Some low kicks are traded, Hall is biting on Silva’s feints. Jab from Hall. Spinning back kick from Silva lands to the body. Hall lands a front kick to the body. Silva circling, Hall letting him. Leg kicks from Silva, inside and out. Spinning back kick from Hall to the body. Hall jabs the body, Silva has a head kick blocked. Jabs are traded, Hall seems to finally be coming alive in the fight. They circle away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW, 20-19 Silva overall

ROUND THREE: Bit of an exchange of lefts, Silva still southpaw and Hall mostly orthodox now. Hall avoids a left. Body kick is blocked from Silva. Hall lands a jab. Silva blocks a high kick. Jabs from Hall now, Silva lands some lead leg kicks to the leg and body. Hall lands a jab, Silva responds with a front kick to the body. Silva avoids a few kicks from Hall, then misses a spinning back kick. Silva with an outside crescent kick, might have been more of an ax kick. Left from Silva lands. Jab from Silva lands, Hall responds in kind. Both men land front kicks to the body. Jab from Silva to the eye, Hall is backing up. Left from Silva, then he punches into a clinch on the fence. Body shots and a foot stomp from Silva. Silva with knees to the body before Hall spins free. Hall lands a bit of a right. Silva lands an elbow, they trade and Hall drops Silva with a right. Hall on top looking to tee off but the round ends and probably saves Silva.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hall, 29-29 DRAW overall

ROUND FOUR: Silva coming forward again, lands a bit of a left. Left and a high kick from Silva, both mostly blocked. Jabs go back and forth again. Counter right from Hall drops Silva again. Hall on top looking to pound things out, and the ref steps in to stop things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Uriah Hall via TKO, punches, at 1:24 of Round 4

Biggest win of Hall’s career, certainly the highest profile. Mic time for Hall after that, he can’t really describe the emotions and puts over Silva and Silva’s career. He talks about the words he and Silva shared after the fight, and calls this fight his personal title win but he does still want a fight with Adesanya. Asked about the future to the title, he says he’s in the best gym and puts over his new team and gym and will take on anyone that will get him to the title.

Mic time for Silva as well, he says Hall came to win the fight and he’s just enjoying the moment after the fight now. He says walking away is difficult but today is the final day for him in the UFC. Asked about real retirement, he’s a little more coy and mentions how much he’s dedicated to this and isn’t quite sure he can declare right now that he’s fully done. Bisping asks about the highlight moment of his career, he’s got so many to choose from and is just grateful for the memories and found great memories in every opponent he fought in the UFC. To close he thanks everyone for everything.

For me personally Anderson Silva’s UFC debut is one of the most concrete early memories I have of watching the UFC. If this is it, and I think it should be, thank you to Silva for the years and the memories. You helped redefine the sport, inspired a couple of generations of fighters and fans, and produced some of the greatest moments we’ve ever had.

On that note, UFC on ESPN+ 39 comes to a close. Thanks to everyone reading, be that live or after the fact. Next week the UFC is trying for the third time to get Thiago Santos vs. Glover Teixeira to happen, and I’ll be here to cover that event. We’ll unpack all the action from this card and preview that one on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast tomorrow. Until next time stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC on ESPN+ 39, Robert Winfree