Beloved light heavyweight Matt Hamill made his return to the cage tonight (Wed., Oct. 9, 2013) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the main card of the UFC Fight Night 29: "Maia vs. Shields" event on Fox Sports 1 to take on Thiago Silva. Heading in, his coach left him thinking he doesn't have it anymore. Meanwhile, Silva missed weight by a full three pounds and was fined.
The bout itself, however, wasn't all that special, perhaps precisely because of both of the aforementioned issues. "The Hammer" was trying to work his wrestling but getting nowhere and Silva had a few hard punches that did just enough damage, but nothing like his usual violent streak.
The Brazilian boo birds were making themselves heard by the middle of the second.
A brief flash of fury from Silva late in the round woke everyone up but both fighters were exhausted throughout the final frame, leading to an ugly few minutes of "action".
When an eye poke is the most exciting thing to happen, you know it's bad.
To Silva's credit, his plan to attack Hamill's led leg with kicks was paying huge dividends near the end of the fight. He just didn't have the energy to truly take advantage of it.
For his part, Hamill was so tired he literally bent over and put his hands on his knees with a full minute remaining. Silva decided the time was right to blitz his opponent, battering him with punches, kicks, and knees to great effect. Getting to the final horn was brutal.
The result was obvious. Silva earned a unanimous decision from the judges, though likely no good will for all the pre-fight problems.
For complete UFC Fight Night 29 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.