Returning from “Fight Island,” UFC will kick off their final stretch of events in 2020 on Saturday with UFC on ESPN+ 39. Headlining the card, which is scheduled to happen at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, is former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Uriah Hall.
Follow along throughout the evening for live coverage of the event.
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 11: Uriah Hall (15-9) vs. Anderson Silva (34-10) (Middleweight)
Hall Defeats Silva In What Could Be His Final Fight
Uriah Hall won an emotional main event fight, stopping former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in the fourth round with punches.
Silva wasn’t sure if the fight would be his last following the loss.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult for us to stop. But today is the final day,” said Silva in his post-fight interview, although moments after he said he will head back home before deciding if he wants to retire.
Rumours swirled before the fight that it might have been Silva’s last, as he alluded often to retirement in interviews despite leaving the opportunity open to continue.
Silva was dropped with a right hook in the fourth, the same punch that floored him in the round before. Hall landed ground and pound until the referee intervened in the fight ending sequence.
Hall was emotional after the win as Silva was someone he looked up to.
“You’re still the greatest,” said Hall, talking to Silva moments after the fight.
Silva was one of the most influential fighters as a champion, putting on a dominant championship run from 2006 to 2013. He is considered by many as the greatest of all time.
Hall is now on a three-fight streak of wins after Saturday. The win was Hall’s first fight of 2020, with his two other wins coming in the two years before.
The loss for Anderson was his third-straight. Prior losses came to Jared Cannonier and current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya.
UFC Announces Season 29 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’
Before the main event, UFC unveiled the return of television series “The Ultimate Fighter.” The series, a huge part of the UFC since it started airing in 2005, will air exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States.
Per the broadcast, the show will return for its 29th season in March. It will focus on the bantamweight and middleweight division.
Bout 10: Bryce Mitchell (13-0) vs. Andre Fili (21-7) (Featherweight)
Mitchell Wins Decision Over Fili To Remain Undefeated
Bryce Mitchell remained undefeated in the co-main event of the evening, defeating Andre Fili via decision. Mitchell’s win was lead by his constant pressure with takedowns and control on the ground.
Despite winning, Mitchell was not proud about his performance.
“I do better in the gym,” said Mitchell in his post-fight interview.
Fili was able to give Mitchell a tough fight, working out of numerous positions and being able to land hard punches on the feet.
The fight was Mitchell’s fifth win in the UFC. He won a fight earlier in the year as well, winning over Charles Rosa at UFC 249.
Mitchell wore camouflage shorts in the fight, something he begged the UFC for numerous times before it was granted. Reebok, the current uniform partner for the UFC, collaborated with RealTree to make the design.
Fili’s previous fight was a win over Charles Jourdain.
Bout 9: Greg Hardy (6-2) vs. Maurice Greene (9-4) (Heavyweight)
Hardy Picks Up Second-Straight Win
Greg Hardy picked up another win in the UFC, stopping Maurice Greene in the second round with punches. Hardy worked for the stoppage with ground and pound, landing a series of strikes until the referee stopped the fight.
Greene protested the stoppage immediately after, claiming he was attempting to move out of the position.
Hardy won the first round, taking down Greene and controlling the position with ground and pound. Both fighters were significantly fatigued after the fight returned to the feet.
Hardy’s previous win was over Yorgan De Castro in May.
Bout 8: Kevin Holland (19-5) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (11-6) (Middleweight)
Injury For Ontiveros Earns Holland Fourth Win
Kevin Holland became the first fighter to earn four wins in 2020 on Saturday, defeating short-notice opponent Charlie Ontiveros. The fight was stopped after a slamming takedown hurt Ontiveros, ending the fight.
Injury seemingly took Ontiveros out of the fight, as he had to be stretched out of the octagon after being down for a few minutes. Holland claimed he hurt his neck.
After his win, Holland was frustrated that fill-in opponents through 2020 haven’t given his wins much recognition.
“I kinda wanna fight somebody with a big of a name,” said Holland in his post-fight interview, later mentioning he wants to fight again in 2020.
Holland talked to UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, who was ringside, after the fight.
Ontiveros was replacing Makhmud Muradov, who withdrew from the fight shortly after.
Bout 7: Bobby Green (27-10-1) vs. Thiago Moises (13-4) (Lightweight)
Moises Kicks Off Main Card With Decision Win Over Green
Thiago Moises won a decision to kick off the main card, defeating Bobby Green. The loss for Green stopped him from becoming the first UFC fighter in 2020 to pick up four victories.
The win was the second-straight for Moises, with his previous 2020 win being an ankle lock over Michael Johnson.
“I want a top 15 [ranked fighter] next,” said Moises in his post-fight interview, saying he deserves it after his two wins.
All three judges saw Green win a round in the fight.
Moises was the more active striker throughout the first round. Green was confident throughout the fight, often walking towards Moises with his hands down.
Moises was able to score a takedown in the final round, controlling Green for a minute while on his back.
Bout 6: Alexander Hernandez (11-3) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (14-3) (Lightweight)
Hernandez Returns To Win Column, Puts On Strong Win Against Gruetzemacher
The preliminary card concluded with a good showing from Alexander Hernandez, who finished Chris Gruetzemacher early with punches. The win for Hernandez came after a combination of punches dropped Gruetzemacher in the second minute, causing the referee to call the bout.
Hernandez returned to the win column with the performance. His previous bout was a loss to Drew Dober.
“It feels like I just made my UFC debut,” said Hernandez, riding a high in his post-fight interview.
Gruetzemacher was making his return, with his last fight being two-and-a-half years ago.
Bout 5: Adrian Yanez (11-3) vs. Victor Rodriguez (7-2) (Bantamweight)
Yanez Finishes Rodriguez Early In UFC Debut
Adrian Yanez made an impactful UFC debut on the prelims, stopping Victor Rodriguez within a round with strikes. Yanez finished the fight with a combo where he scored punches and dropped Rodriguez with a head kick.
Yanez was success previously in the round with his punches, visibly wobbling Rodriguez with them.
“A lot of people get comfortable just being in the UFC … I want to do something with this,” said Yanez in his post-fight interview, optimistic about his UFC career.
The fight was the UFC debut for Yanez, who won on “Dana White’s Contender Series” in the summer.
Rodriguez made his debut as well in the fight after a series of wins on the Alaskan scene. He was a short-notice replacement for Aaron Phillips.
Bout 4: Sean Strickland (20-3) vs. Jack Marshman (23-9) (Middleweight)
Strickland Puts on Strong Performance In Return
Sean Strickland had a successful return to the cage on Saturday, defeating Jack Marshman via decision on the prelims.
The fight saw Strickland control striking on the feet throughout the 15 minutes of action, landing a personal best for strikes within a fight. Strickland showed frustration in the final round, talking to Marshman throughout the round and encouraging him to fight more.
The fight was Strickland’s first appearance in two years. His career was put on hold in 2019 following a motorcycle accident. Prior to Saturday, his most recent fight was a win over Nordine Taleb.
Marshman also lost his prior appearance in the octagon, losing in 2019 to Edmen Shahbazyan.
Bout 3: Jason Witt (17-6) vs. Cole Williams (11-2) (Welterweight)
Witt Controls Williams On The Ground, Finishes Fight With Arm Triangle Choke
Jason Witt bounced back from a UFC debut loss on Saturday, finishing Cole Williams in the second round with an arm triangle choke following a dominant performance.
Witt won the first round, landing a takedown and holding full guard for the majority of the round. Strikes from Witt opened a cut on Williams’ head from the position. He did much of the same in the second round, being in control after landing another takedown.
Witt felt confident about his wrestling after the fight.
“We knew we had better wrestling … That was the gameplan, to shoot [for a takedown] early,” said Witt in his post-fight interview.
Witt’s UFC debut was in June, being stopped within a minute by Takashi Sato.
Williams missed weight for the fight, coming in four-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship welterweight limit.
The fight was the second-straight loss in the UFC for Williams. He made his promotional debut in 2019, losing to Claudio Silva.
Bout 2: Dustin Jacoby (12-5) vs. Justin Ledet (9-3) (Light Heavyweight)
Jacoby Earns First UFC Win, Kicks Off Second Run Within The Promotion
Dustin Jacoby earned his first UFC win on the prelims, stopping Justin Ledet within a round with strikes.
The accumulative leg kicks hurt Ledet, dropping him halfway through the round. After Jacoby landed some ground and pound, he dropped Ledet with a punch, causing a referee to stop the fight.
The fight kicked off Jacoby’s second run in the UFC.
“I worked hard man. [I’m] Emotional but damn, I love this s*** man,” said Jacoby in his post-fight interview, talking about what getting back into the UFC meant for him.
Jacoby’s previous UFC run was in 2011 and 2012, losing both of his bouts in the promotion.
Jacoby earned a UFC contract in the summer, picking up a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series” to get signed.
Ledet has now lost three-straight in the UFC, with his prior losses coming to Johnny Walker and Aleksandar Rakic.
Bout 1: Miles Johns (10-1) vs. Kevin Natividad (9-1) (Bantamweight)
Johns Knocks Out Natividad Late To Return To Win Column
Miles Johns closed a dominant performance in the third round with an uppercut that dropped Kevin Natividad and stopped the fight. The punch came while leaving a clinch, giving Johns his first win since a loss in February.
Johns’ ability to land takedowns and connect frequently with his lead jab helped him win the first two rounds before the finish.
Johns’ previous performance was his first loss as a pro, dropping a bout to Mario Bautista at UFC 247.
The fight was the UFC debut for Natividad. He had a series of wins in LFA prior to his debut.