Last night (Sat., Oct. 31, 2020), UFC returned to the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 12. In the main event, Anderson Silva walked to the Octagon a final time opposite a fellow knockout artist in Uriah Hall. There was excitement throughout the night, including a couple men in Kevin Holland and Bobby Green looking to pick up their fourth UFC victories of the year.
Let’s take a closer look at the slickest techniques and best performances:
Hall Lets His Hands Go
Uriah Hall vs. Anderson Silva was a tale of two fights in one. In the first bout, Silva was able to stay ahead of his opponent on the volume game. He shoulder rolled a great deal of his opponents jabs, landed little kicks, and flurried often enough to remind the judges that he was in control.
A simple shift changed everything: Hall started throwing his right hand.
If Hall’s jab is a piston, his overhand is a sledgehammer. Sure, Silva managed to avoid and counter a couple crosses, but this is not 2009. Only one of those crosses needed to score to drastically change the fight, and that happened in the closing seconds of third. As Silva tried to force the action with a combination, Hall stepped back and pretty much ended the fight with a single shot.
The bell “saved” Silva, granting him another opportunity to get popped by another right. Hall defeats his idol (but does it move him forward?), and Silva’s chance at a storybook ending is crushed.
MMA is seldom a cheery sport.
Battle For UFC APEX Mayor
Holland and Green both sought their fourth UFC victories in both 2020 and the UFC APEX building. Sadly, the two men faced different circumstances in their shared goal.
Green walked to the Octagon first, facing a tough opponent in Thiago Moises. The two fought largely toe-to-toe for 15 full minutes, trading takedowns and strikes at a seriously even rate. Green landed a bit more, Moises landed a bit harder, and the judges ultimately sided with the Brazilian.
My scorecard disagreed, but it was such a competitive fight I offer zero actual complaints.
Holland is used to short-notice fights, but this time it was his opponent who fell out, leaving “Trailblazer” in the cage with Charlie Ontiveros, an opponent ill-prepared for his offense. Holland slammed his foe hard several times, and the final impact caused some type of injury, forcing Ontiveros to scream in pain and verbally submit in the first round.
It’s not a particularly memorable one, but hey ... four straight wins is four straight wins!
The Great Returns
It was easy to root against Alexander Hernandez. He talked way too much, too soon, and he really did not deserve the decision opposite well-liked Brazilian veteran Francisco Trinaldo. Most fans did not mind watching Donald Cerrone and Drew Dober send him back to Earth with brutal knockouts.
Enjoying watching Hernandez lose does not mean he is bad, however.
The 28-year-old “Great” simply needed to make a change, and he did! He relocated to Colorado and Factory X, a gym well-equipped to help him capitalize on all that athleticism. He also relaxed a bit, coming to the cage less cocky and rather smiley — an aesthetic change that will hopefully win over some fans.
If the smile doesn’t help, the punches certainly will. From the first bell, Hernandez was pulling Chris Gruetzemacher into crisp power shots. Gruetzemacher kept walking forward, but Hernandez led him into trap after trap, and his speed advantage and stance switches largely ensured he didn’t get touched in return.
A head kick stunned “Gritz,” a left hook knocked him down, and a pair of right uppercuts sealed the deal. Hernandez remains a very talented Lightweight, someone not to count out when he returns to facing top-tier competition.
A Stylish KO
Adrian Yanez is yet another Bantamweight to watch.
The 26-year-old Texan has a ton of confidence in his hands. Against Victor Rodriguez, Yanez stalked his opponent pretty much from the first bell, confident that his reactions would keep him safe. Despite his opponent’s wild swings, Yanez kept his own offense tight, soon dropping Rodriguez with a tight right hand fired straight from the chin.
Despite hurting his foe, Yanez did not attempt to jump on the finish, He pursued it with a veteran patience, walking his foe to the fence before letting another combo fly. Yanez tried to shuffle away and buy himself some time, but Yanez stepped back into Southpaw and fired a picture-perfect high kick into the chin.
- Greg Hardy defeats Maurice Greene via second-round TKO (HIGHLIGHTS): Hardy showed some real improvement last night. Previously, Hardy has either shown himself a finishing threat for a round — then gassed — or fought rather patiently in pursuit of the decision win. This time, he was throwing hard shots the entire while. His return to aggression definitely cost him some energy, as he was a bit fatigued in the second, but he nevertheless managed to drop Greene with a pretty clean up jab. Like it or not, Hardy doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.
- Jason Witt defeats Cole Williams via second-round arm triangle: Witt simply outclassed Williams last night. He landed a big double leg almost immediately and spent the entire first round landing elbows, carving open a huge cut that bled everywhere. Witt wasn’t going to abandon a remarkably successful and simple strategy, so the takedown again came quickly in the second. This time, he advanced to mount quickly before locking in the submission.
- Dustin Jacoby defeats Justin Ledet via first-round knockout (HIGHLIGHTS): Ledet is a pretty solid boxer, but he’s one who relies quite heavily on the jab. As the lankier man with a professional kickboxing record, Jacoby found a pretty simple solution: kick the hell out of his foe’s lead leg. It only took a few kicks for Ledet to start wobbling, and he eventually hit the mat in the opening frame. Jacoby allowed his foe back up, only to cream him with a heavy right elbow and uppercut to secure the finish. This may be the end of Ledet’s UFC career, who has now lost four straight at 205 lbs. after beginning his UFC career with three straight wins at Heavyweight!
- Miles Johns defeats Kevin Natividad via third-round knockout (HIGHLIGHTS): Johns was on his way to a well-fought decision win. His jab landed early and often, allowing him to get the better of most exchanges and set up his takedown entries. Just as Johns seemed to be letting his foot off the gas a bit, he timed a takedown well in the third. Natividad defended, but as he went to circle out, Johns pulled down hard on one of his hands. Natividad’s head dropped a bit, crashing directly into an uppercut that put him out cold.
For complete UFC Vegas 12: “Silva vs. Hall” results and play-by-play, click HERE!