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UFC Vegas 12 preview, ‘Hall vs Silva’ predictions

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UFC 200: Tate v Nunes Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva will look to close out his hall-of-fame mixed martial arts (MMA) career with a five-round showdown opposite middleweight striking sensation Uriah Hall. They’ll go to war this Sat. night (Oct. 31, 2020) inside the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, in what is expected to be “The Spider’s” combat sports swan song. Before that clash of fists gets underway, featherweight phenom Andre Fili looks to (finally) realize his potential against the rough-and-tumble Bryce Mitchell.

Before we dive into the main and co-main events, be sure to check out the complete UFC Vegas 12 preliminary card breakdown, expertly deconstructed by Patrick Stumberg here and here. Resident MMA champ Andrew Richardson did most of the heavy lifting for the rest of the main card right here. For the latest “Hall vs. Silva” odds and betting lines click here.

Let’s get to work ...

185 lbs.: Uriah Hall vs. Anderson Silva

Uriah “Prime Time” Hall

Record: 15-9 | Age: 36 | Betting line: -225
Wins: 11 KO/TKO, 1 SUB, 3 DEC | Losses: 4 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 5 DEC
Height: 6’0“ | Reach: 79” | Stance: Orthodox
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 3.31 | Striking accuracy: 50%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 3.57 | Striking Defense: 53%
Takedown Average: 0.75 (38% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 69%
Current Ranking: No. 10 | Last fight: Split-decision win over Antonio Carlos Jr.

Anderson “The Spider” Silva

Record: 34-10, 1 NC | Age: 45 | Betting line: +185
Wins: 23 KO/TKO, 3 SUB, 8 DEC | Losses: 3 KO/TKO, 2 SUB, 4 DEC, 1 DQ
Height: 6’2“ | Reach: 77” | Stance: Southpaw
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 3.04 | Striking accuracy: 62%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 1.98 | Striking Defense: 61%
Takedown Average: 0.52 (77% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 69%
Current Ranking: Unranked | Last fight: TKO loss to Jared Cannonier

Uriah Hall came into the promotion by way of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 where he was coached by former 185-pound title contender Chael Sonnen. At the time of filming, “The American Gangster” started filling Hall’s head with dreams of defeating then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva. It was a nice fantasy bolstered by sensational knockout wins over regional rejects like Adam Cella and Bubba Jenkins, but as Hall quickly learned in the season finale, where he was shut down by the rough-and-tumble Kelvin Gastelum, landing the highlight-reel knockout is difficult when your opponent refuses to stand still. A follow-up loss to veteran journeyman John Howard established the fact that “Prime Time” was not a mixed martial artist but rather a gifted striker who was too stubborn to develop a Plan B. Instead of finding a solid MMA gym with experienced coaches, Hall opted to bounce around from camp-to-camp before landing at Fortis MMA. It’s probably too late to reinvent the wheel at age 36 but he won’t have to if UFC matchmakers play to his strengths, as they did with the rapidly-declining Silva. It’s not like “The Spider” is going to shoot for a takedown unless he wants to troll us, so Hall should find himself in his comfort zone from bell-to-bell.

While I’m from the school that believes Silva should have retired several years ago, pitting him against Hall feels less abusive than his recent pairing against Israel Adesanya, though you could argue “Prime Time” is sort of like Diet Stylebender and presents many of the same problems. In addition, Silva is halfway to his 46th birthday and has traditionally relied on his speed, timing, and dexterity to outclass his opponents, attributes that don’t exactly improve with age. We also can’t exclude the damage Silva has taken in the second half of his career because the days of dropping hands and eating punches are long gone. The last time that worked was against Stephan Bonnar over eight years ago and since that fight the Brazilian has lost six of eight, but I wouldn’t be celebrating his victory over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 because the judges gave him that decision in the same way Applebees gives you a free dessert on your birthday. I don’t want to use soft language here or dance around the obvious: Silva is a broken-down fighter who is far past his expiration date. There just hasn’t been anything from him in recent years to challenge that assessment and for those of us who were present during the glory years, the fall of “The Spider” has been hard to watch.

I would not expect a fast-paced, high-volume bout for this weekend’s headliner but that doesn’t mean it won’t be entertaining. The era of Silva marching forward and putting the hammer down ended with the Rich Franklin snuff film at UFC 77. Similarly, Hall likes to pick his shots and wait for openings rather than create them. A fight like this means nothing in the middleweight division and the result has no impact on the career trajectory for either combatant, so they’re likely to be content with a glorified sparring match or spinning-shit exhibition. If that’s the case, I’m siding with the athlete who is nearly a decade younger and coming off back-to-back victories. It’s not like Silva needs a miracle to win, we just have to accept that when it comes to fighting Hall, Father Time has already done most of the heavy lifting.

Prediction: Hall def. Silva by unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Andre Fili vs. Bryce Mitchell

Andre “Touchy” Fili

Record: 21-7 | Age: 30 | Betting line: +125
Wins: 9 KO/TKO, 3 SUB, 9 DEC | Losses: 2 KO/TKO, 2 SUB, 3 DEC
Height: 5’11“ | Reach: 74” | Stance: Orthodox
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 3.90 | Striking accuracy: 36%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 3.97 | Striking Defense: 53%
Takedown Average: 2.71 (49% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 69%
Current Ranking: Unranked | Last fight: Split-decision win over Charles Jourdain

Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell

Record: 13-0 | Age: 26 | Betting line: -145
Wins: 0 KO/TKO, 9 SUB, 4 DEC | Losses: 0 KO/TKO, 0 SUB, 0 DEC
Height: 5’10“ | Reach: 70” | Stance: Southpaw
Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute: 2.05 | Striking accuracy: 59%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute: 1.36 | Striking Defense: 58%
Takedown Average: 2.13 (41% accuracy) | Takedown Defense: 33%
Current Ranking: No. 15 | Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Charles Rosa

Andre Fili signed with UFC back in 2013 when he was just 23 and was widely regarded as one of the best featherweight prospects in all of MMA, thanks to a 12-1 record and an eight-fight winning streak with five nasty finishes. His Octagon debut did not disappoint, as “Touchy” laid waste to veteran bruiser Jeremy Larsen at UFC 166 in Houston. The promotion quickly paired him off against another young upstart in the form of Max Holloway, who unbeknownst to anyone in combat sports, was about to embark on one of the greatest runs in the history of the division. Since getting submitted by “Blessed” at UFC 172, Fili has put together a ho-hum record of 8-5, a far cry from his regional days when he was smashing everyone in sight. Now 30 and coming off a split-decision win over Charles Jourdain, the Team Alpha Male (TAM) product needs to get something going — and fast — if he wants to crack the Top 15.

That’s where opponent Bryce Mitchell sits at No. 15, thanks to four straight wins under the UFC banner, which includes his memorable twister submission over Matt Sayles at UFC on ESPN 7. I know the majority of fight fans will recognize “Thug Nasty” more for his power drill accident than his in-cage accomplishments and that’s unfortunate; but hey, when you rip your nutsack in half and upload a picture of your bloody boxers, you can expect that kind of thing to stick with you for a couple of years. Something else that stuck with him was the submission loss he suffered against Brad Katona on TUF 27, which took place in Feb. 2018. Not exactly ancient history. I know we’re not supposed to count exhibition bouts but c’mon, a fight is a fight. We should also point out that Mitchell has yet to score a knockout in his professional career and all his amateur wins came by way of either submission or decision, so the 26 year-old grappler still has something to prove in this division.

Mitchell feels like the easy pick here and the odds reflect that. “Thug Nasty” has continued to win while Fili has struggled to stay consistent. That said, I’m not ready to discount what “Touchy” has done throughout his UFC tenure because he’s fought some brutal competition. Aside from Holloway, Fili has also gone to war against the likes of Yair Rodriguez and Calvin Kattar, two killers currently ranked in the Top 6. Even Michael Johnson and Dennis Bermudez represent a level of competition that Mitchell has yet to encounter in his short time with UFC. Sorry, I’m not breaking out the party hats for Charles Rosa, who is 4-4 inside the Octagon, or unheralded newbies like Bobby Moffett and Tyler Diamond. Fili hasn't established himself as a world beater but one thing he has established is a wealth of experience. As good as Mitchell can be on the ground, I don’t think he’s going to show “Touchy” anything he hasn’t already seen from more dangerous fighters.

Prediction: Fili def. Mitchell by unanimous decision

Remember, the rest of the UFC Vegas 12 main card predictions are RIGHT HERE.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 12 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 12 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC Vegas 12 fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here.