Anderson Silva refused to confirm whether he will be retiring from the sport after losing to Uriah Hall via fourth round TKO at UFC Vegas 12 this morning.

Silva still has one more fight left on his UFC contract but at 45 he is clearly not the force he once was. His UFC debut win, a first-round knockout against Chris Leben, sparked arguably the greatest run in the history of the sport.

He went on to score another first round knockout against Rich Franklin in his next fight to lift the UFC middleweight title. Silva amassed an incredible 16 fight winning streak, a record which stands to this day.

The latter stage of his career has seen in stark contrast, with Silva coming into this clash with Hall having only racked up one win in his last six fights.

Tentative start

After a tentative start from both fighters in the opening round, the veteran landed some good left hands and at times looked reminiscent of the Silva of old as he swarmed forwards to land combinations. Both fighters landed well with the jab while Hall continued to be economical with his output.

Silva mixed it up with a spinning kick to Hall’s thigh and was later met with a strong counter jab, but it was a decent start overall from the former champion.

Much like the first, the second round started slowly. Silva landed with a big leg kick and continued to circle. Hall hit the mark with a spinning kick to Silva’s stomach but mostly chose to throw jabs and single shots in a what was a fairly even affair.

Saved by the bell

Silva caught Hall with a clean jab in the third, but Hall’s response suggested he thought it might have been an eye poke. The Brazilian landed a good combination and unloaded with some heavy foot stomps as the pair clinched up against the cage.

But it was Hall who finished the round with a flourish. A counter right hook caught Silva on the chin to send him to the canvas. From there he unleashed several more strong right hands and may well have finished the fight, with Silva saved by the bell.

It was a sign of things to come. Having landed a solid shot with his left, Silva soon looked to increase the pace. But he came in recklessly, leaving himself exposed and walking right into a big right hand. With Silva floored, Hall again went to work with the right, raining down the blows from a standing position until Herb Dean called a stop to the contest.

Record breaker

That is the seventh UFC knockout of Hall’s career and he’s now tied second with Michael Bisping for most in the history of the division.

The win drew an emotional response from Hall as he broke down in tears. He has frequently stated that Silva is one of his biggest inspirations, and as the pair embraced, he told him, “I’m so sorry” and said that he loved him.

Interestingly, Silva did not leave his gloves in the octagon and would not commit to retirement during his post-fight interview. He was asked if that was the end,

“I don’t know. First, I go back home, and I’ll go see with my team. Let’s see. Tough to say whether it’s my last or not. Let’s go see,” Silva said.

Silva’s record now stands at 34-11-0-1 while Hall climbs to 17-9.

UFC Vegas 12, Las Vegas, Sunday 1st November
Uriah Hall def. Anderson Silva via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 1:24
Bryce Mitchell def. Andre Fili via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Greg Hardy def. Maurice Greene via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:12
Kevin Holland def. Charlie Ontiveros via verbal submission (injury) – Round 1, 2:39
Thiago Moises def. Bobby Green via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexander Hernandez def. Chris Gruetzemacher via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:46
Adrian Yanez def. Victor Rodriguez via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 2:46
Sean Strickland def. Jack Marshman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jason Witt def. Cole Williams via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:09
Dustin Jacoby def. Justin Ledet via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:38
Miles Johns def. Kevin Natividad via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 2:51