The New York Yankees couldn’t afford to lose Zack Britton

New York Yankees, Zack Britton

Per the terms of the deal, the New York Yankees needed to pick up Zack Britton’s 2022 option in order to prevent him from opting out of the two remaining seasons in the contract, 2021 and 2022. The left-hander groundball specialist is not precisely cheap (he will earn $13 million next season and $14 million the year after) but the team just couldn’t afford to lose him. And that’s why they essentially decided to “opt in” the remaining two years on his pact.

While the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers have managed to build two super-bullpens, the Yankees’ unit is not what it once was. In 2018 and 2019, there were at least six or seven trustworthy arms that manager Aaron Boone could rely on. Now, in the 2020 season and after Tommy Kahnle got injured, it was evident that only three relief pitchers were in the circle of trust.

Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and Britton were the only arms in which Boone trusted come crunch time. Jonathan Holder, Jonathan Loaisiga and Luis Cessa are talented, but inconsistent, while Adam Ottavino seems to have regressed and is no longer the dominant reliever the Yankees signed before the 2019 season.

The New York Yankees, therefore, should be looking to add to their bullpen corps, not substracting. Letting Britton walk would have meant that the trio of reliable bullpen arms was going to be just a pair of good options, and lots of question marks.

The Yankees had to pay for his worth

Britton, 32, has earned the money at this point of his career. Not only with consistent excellence, but also with stellar recent performance. In 20 games in the short 2020 season, the lefty pitched 19.0 frames and had a 1.89 ERA, a 2.61 FIP and a 3.42 xFIP. He struck out 21.1 percent of the batters he faced and was once again among the leaders in groundball rate, with 71.7 percent.

In 2020, Britton had a 1.00 WHIP and batters hit just .174 off him. He is as high-leverage as it gets for the Yankees, and will keep getting important outs for the next two seasons, at the very least.

The hope is that the Yankees can add more talent to the unit via trades, free agency or player development. To keep competing with the best of the best, addressing the bullpen is absolutely necessary.

New York Giants coaches fear strong Tampa Bay team, ‘a hell of challenge for us’

New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants

As if the 2020 season couldn’t get any more tumultuous for the New York Giants, they will face off against one of the best teams in the NFL Monday night. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are rising with legendary quarterback Tom Brady under center, and they are coming up two fantastic victories over the Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers.

On the other hand, the Giants are coming off a devastating loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, which they enabled a comeback in the waning moments. I’d be remiss not to mention the Evan Engram drop.

Tampa Bay represents the Giants’ biggest hurdle of the year, considering their top-10 offense and defense. Across-the-board, they win matchups, so the Giants will have to play to perfection if they want to compete against the Buccaneers.

On Friday, the coaching staff spoke with the media, and it was clear that they feared a dominant Tampa team, who has only been getting better with each and every week.

The New York Giants have their work cut out for them:

While the new schematics were difficult for Brady to grasp at the beginning of the season, he has already mastered the offense and is operating at an incredibly high-level.

Over the past two games, Brady has thrown six touchdowns and over 500 yards, throwing zero interceptions. His play is becoming more dominant by the week, especially after completing 73.3% of his passes against the Raiders. However, he will be without star receiver Chris Godwin — he suffered a fractured finger last week against the Raiders.

HOT ARTICLE: How Will Giants supplement loss of Will Hernandez in week 8

The Giants remember former edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, and he is resurrecting himself with the Bucs once again. This year, JPP has 5.5 sacks and seven quarterback hits, playing at a Pro-Bowl caliber level.

The Giants know they will have to stop him if they want to move the ball downfield, but their tackles have been two of the worst in the NFL in pass blocking. Their challenge this week will surely expose weaknesses.

Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham understands the nature of this matchup — they simply have their work cut out for them.

The Buccaneers have the third-best offense in terms of points per game. In total yards, they rank 15th but have a far superior passing attack compared to theIr run game.

Former head coach for the New York Jets, Todd Bowles is one of the best defensive coordinators in the game, and he has found an inevitable path to success with a dominant Buccaneers unit. With star players scattered across the roster, allowing them to play to their strengths has been easy, and the Giants’ offense will have their hands full on Monday night.

Defensively, the Buccaneers have the eighth-best defense in points per game, allowing 20.3. The Giants are averaging only 17.4 points, so that should give you an idea of how tough this matchup really is. In terms of yards, the Bucs rank third in yards allowed, with 291.3.

Greg Hardy looking to show improvement at UFC Vegas 12

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 12, Greg Hardy (6-2, 1 NC) will be making the walk to the octagon for the sixth time. The former all-pro defensive lineman in the NFL has had an up and down career so far in the UFC.

Hardy will be taking on “The Crochet Boss” Maurice Green (9-4) on tomorrow’s main card. This will be the second fight of the year for Hardy. He fought back at UFC 249 and defeated Yorgan De Castro by decision.

Hardy came into the sport of MMA with a ton of hype. After some issues in his personal life essentially ended his NFL career, Hardy decided to change his focus to MMA. Since making that transition, Hardy seems to be a completely different person and he’s dedicated himself to the sport.

He was knocking everyone out left and right when he started. Then he ran into his first hurdle against Allen Crowder. Crowder was the first person that Hardy couldn’t just knockout and he gassed in that fight. He ended up losing by DQ due to an illegal knee.

Following that fight, Hardy won two straight fights by first round knockout. He then won another fight by decision, but it was overturned due to his use of an inhaler. He lost to Alexander Volkov in a short notice main event for the UFC back in November.

UFC Vegas 12 is a big night for Hardy

Hardy is a top level athlete, and he has all the tools to become a great fighter in the UFC. However, it’s never easy for someone to transition to the sport after only competing and training for a few years. Yet, here we are with Hardy.

This week at the UFC Vegas 12 media day, Hardy acknowledged that he still has a ways to go. He said that he believes he’s only on the B-level as of now. I think he’s fringe b/c, but if he can come out and defeat Maurice Greene, he will be at the b-level.

Greene is not going to be an easy fight for Hardy. Maurice Greene comes out of a great camp and he’s extremely fluid on his feet. Not too mention he’s got very good submissions and should have the advantage on the ground should the fight go there.

Whoever comes out victorious tomorrow night could be looking at a ranking in their near future. If not a ranking, for sure a ranked opponent will be in their future. It should be a fantastic fight in the heavyweight division.

New York Yankees decline two player options with Brett Gardner, JA Happ, what now?

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

Following the conclusion of the World Series, the New York Yankees haven’t wasted any time in getting deals done and declining several player options.

The first news to break was that the Yankees would be retaining relief pitcher Zack Britton, who has had two consecutive fantastic seasons for the Yankees since he signed a three-year, $39 million deal back in 2019.

Britton had a player option for the 2021 season, but that was erased by a club option for the Yankees in 2022. With the Bombers picking up that option, they will owe him $14 million next season and have control of him for two more years. That is a great deal for the Yankees, who will need his services in the future.

During an abbreviated 2020 campaign, Britton enjoyed a 1.89 ERA, striking out 16 batters and allowing zero home runs.

The New York Yankees made two more moves on Thursday:

Moving onto the declined player options, the Yankees elected to part ways with veteran outfielder Brett Gardner and JA Happ. However, that doesn’t stop them from potentially signing new deals worth less money. In Gardner’s case, I imagine the Yankees want to retain him given his health history and familiarity with the team.

Gardy was expected to earn $10 million if the Yankees picked up his option, but instead, they will pay a $2.5 million buy-out and likely offer him a more team-friendly deal. At 37 years old, Gardner still has plenty of value to offer but struggled offensively during the 2020 season. He finished with a .223/.354/.392 slash line, hitting five homers over 158 plate appearances.

If the Yankees can keep him around at about $5 million for next season, I think that would be an ideal scenario. That would lower their overall expenditure attached to his name to about $7.5 million (including buyout), allowing them to allocate more money toward a starting pitcher or bullpen arm.

As for Happ, this was always going to be an easy decision for the Yankees, considering they would have paid him $17 million in 2021 if his vesting option was exercised.

Thankfully, they will move on from the former Toronto Blue Jay and save plenty of capital to invest in another starter. With Tanaka earning $23 million last season, James Paxton earning $12 million, and Happ $17 million, the Yanks have about $52 million to work with.

However, the team lost significant revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I don’t believe their financial flexibility will remain the same this upcoming off-season — they do have the open capital to invest if they choose to do so.

Suns reunion in Brooklyn: Mike D’Antoni agrees to come as Steve Nash’s assistant

Former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has agreed to come to the Brooklyn Nets to assist his former player Steve Nash.

Ex-Philadelphia 76ers lead assistant coach Ime Udoka, who earlier interviewed for the New York Knicks job, will also come on board.

Top news breaker Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the news.

The Nets shortly confirmed the hiring and released an official statement from Nash.

“We’ve assembled an experienced staff of high-character individuals with varied backgrounds, both on and off the court, that will help create a solid foundation for me and our players,” Nash said in the statement.

When I set out to build this staff, I wanted to put together a committed group that would connect with our players and help put them in the best position to succeed as a team. With coaching and playing experience at the highest level, and a deep background in player development, I’m confident that we’ve put the right people in place to lead us forward.

D’Antoni will bring the much-needed experience to aid Nash in his first season as an NBA head coach.

D’Antoni coached Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, who earlier agreed to be part of the Nets coaching staff, in Phoenix in the mid-2000s. That Suns team revolutionized the NBA with their seven seconds-or-less offense that helped them reach the Western Conference Finals in 2006 against the Dallas Mavericks. Nash also played the best stretch of his career under D’Antoni winning back-to-back MVPs in 2005-06.

Nash hinted at D’Antoni’s hire during his virtual town hall on Tuesday.

“People talk about the Phoenix teams I played on, and this sort of revolutionary tone of how it impacted the game, but the truth be told, Mike D’Antoni’s brilliance in much of that was he allowed it to evolve instead of getting in the way,” Nash said.

This is not the first time that a rookie head coach hires his former mentor to become his assistant. In 2013, Jason Kidd also sought his former coach Lawrence Frank during his first year as head coach, ironically, with the Nets. The partnership, though, quickly deteriorated and ended in an ugly falling out.

Meanwhile, Udoka will also get reunited with his former peers at San Antonio Spurs in Brooklyn. Udoka, Nets general manager Sean Marks and lead assistant Jacque Vaughn, and assistant coach Tiaggo Splitter have all been together in San Antonio at one point in the early part of the decade.

Adam Harrington, Jordan Ott, and Ryan Forehan-Kelly round up Nash’s staff.

The Nets will be one of the favorites next season with their top players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving expected to return at full health.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Giants preparing Saquon Barkley for surgery, when will he return?

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

It is time for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley to take a page out of the Adrian Peterson book of torn ACL’s. Barkley, who suffered a significant injury against the Chicago Bears in week 2 this season, has been waiting for inflammation to die down before undergoing surgery. With multiple tears in his knee, the ACL was the most significant one and represents an injury that players pick up on a weekly basis these days.

Having played only 16% of the offensive snaps this season, the Giants were hoping they could install one of the best running backs in the NFL into Jason Garrett’s system. A player like Barkley commands significant attention, forcing teams to stack the box and leave spots open in coverage.

So far, we haven’t seen the Giants’ offense completely take flight, as they currently rank second to last in the NFL, averaging 17.8 points per game. The only team worse is the New York Jets, which gives you a solid indication of just how poor this Giants unit is.

The New York Giants miss their best offensive weapon:

Barkley is one of the most explosive players in the NFL, and considering how many players have undergone this surgery in the past, we can assume that he will return to full health. There’s always the chance that the ligament never heals correctly, but considering the technological advancements with this specific issue, the belief is that he will recorder fully.

Luckily for Saquon, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapaport stated that Barkley’s procedure would be led by Dr. Neil ElAttrache of Kerlan-Jobe, the team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Rams.

The goal is for Saquon to return in 2021 with a full bill of health, but it is likely he will miss a large chunk of training camp. I estimate that he will be ready for week 1 next season, but he has a long road to recovery ahead of him, especially with the delay in surgery due to the inflammation of the knee.

New York Yankees decline Brett Gardner’s 2021 option, making him a free agent

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees are starting to make decisions about the 2021 season, after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series and officially ended the 2020 campaign. Yesterday, they decided to keep Zack Britton around for the next two seasons, and now, they opted not to bring back an old friend.

Outfielder Brett Gardner, who was spent his entire MLB career with the New York Yankees, is officially a free agent. The Bombers declined to pick up his $10 million option, and will instead pay him a $2.5 million buyout according to MLB Network Jon Heyman. That way, Gardner is entering the market.

However, that doesn’t mean that the Yankees are parting ways with their long-time outfielder. They could opt to bring him back at a lower price, if the player is in agreement, of course.

Now, with Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton (who will play mostly DH, but could make some appearances in the outfield) and Clint Frazier, there may not be a clear avenue for at least semi-regular playing time for Gardner, who will surely want to keep his options open.

The Yankees reportedly want a cheaper reunion

Heyman also reports that the Yankees have interest in a reunion with the 37-year-old outfielder, but at a cheaper price. For it to happen, any potential deal would have to be at a lower figure than $7.5 million (the $10 million of the option minus the $2.5 million of the buyout.)

Gardner has been with the Yankees since they selected in the 2005 Draft. He is the only member of the 2009 championship team that was left in the squad.

He had a great 2019 season with the New York Yankees, slugging a career-high .503 and hitting 28 home runs. However, the 2020 campaign wasn’t as kind, as he hit .223/.354/.392 with five home runs over 158 plate appearances.

UFC Vegas 12 Preview: Bryce Mitchell – Andre Fili

Bryce Mitchell

The co-main event of tomorrow night’s UFC Vegas 12 card is a good one. It’s a battle of the nicknames as Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell (13-0) takes on Andre “Touchy” Fili (21-7) in the co-main event of the evening.

Mitchell has started his UFC career out by winning his first four fights to continue his perfect record. In those fights it’s been Mitchell’s superior ground game that’s really been impressive. Thug Nasty even pulled off a twister back in December against Matt Sayles.

In his last contest against Charles Rosa, Mitchell showed the difference between a good grappler and an elite grappler. Rosa couldn’t do anything and Mitchell went on to win a unanimous decision. His striking isn’t that great, but his ground game is next-level.

Andre Fili always seems to be that guy that fights all the fighters with hype behind them. He fought Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Kattar, and Sodiq Yusuff all on their rises in the UFC‘s featherweight division. Fili has some losses, but only to really good competition.

When he’s not facing top guys, Fili hasn’t really lost. He has some good wins on his record like Myles Jury, Charles Jourdain, and Dennis Bermudez. Fili is good wherever the fight goes, but tomorrow you can expect that he’s going to want to keep the fight standing.

UFC Vegas 12 Prediction

This fight is one of those ones that’s really easy to pick depending on where the fight goes. If the fight stays on the feet, I really like Fili’s chances to give Mitchell his first career loss. Fili isn’t an elite striker by any means, however, his striking is still better than Mitchell’s.

If Fili can stop the takedowns, I expect him to be able to score enough points to win on the cards. However, if Mitchell is able to land just one takedown he can end the fight. While Fili has a good ground game, they are on very different levels with their skills on the mat.

I definitely understand why Fili is a very live underdog at the moment. Again, if the fight remains standing, he’s got an excellent chance. I’m going to ride the UFC‘s hype train a little longer and say that Mitchell is able to get a takedown and a submission in this one.

Prediction: Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Is the “Martian” Jasson Dominguez too young to make his Major League debut?

The New York Yankees coming off another disappointing season, are spending the offseason looking for ways to improve the team. They have to deal with a multitude of players that have become free agents and some with options. They also have some significant decisions to make with players that didn’t perform as well as the Yankees would have liked. For Yankee fans, they want the team to get good enough to win another World Championship. With all of that in mind, many fans wonder if the amazing player they have heard about, Jasson Dominguez, will be ready to join the team this season. Sadly, for the time being, the answer is no.

There is no question that the young man that will turn 18 on February 2nd has the talent to play at the Stadium. The question is it right to push the young man that hard. If you asked the Dominican star, he would probably say yes. But the New York Yankees have a process not only to build a baseball player but to build a Yankee. There is precedent for debuting a player as young as Jasson. The Youngest ever was Joe Nuxhall; he was a 15-year-old pitcher for the Cinncinati Reds back in n1944. There have been a few sixteen-year-olds and even more seventeen and eighteen-year-olds. All tolled, there have been more than 20 teenagers that have made the opening day lineup.

Some of these youngsters excelled and some not so much. One became a Major League manager, one, Bobby Doerr, the Red Sox second baseman, became a baseball Hall of Famer. The Yankees have never been big on starting kids young. Mickey Mantle was the youngest ever Yankee in the modern era (1900). We all know how that baseball career turned out. Mantle started with the Yankees at the age of 19, 179 days. The youngest pitcher was Cornelius Joseph Brady at the age of 18. More recently, Derek Jeter debuted with the Yankees at the age of 20.

To fully understand the young Jasson Dominguez, you need to start at the beginning. Jason was born in Valverde Province, the Dominican Republic    to Felix Dominguez and his mother Dorca Gonzalez. You could say that Jasson was a Yankee fan from birth, as his father was a big time Yankee fan and named his son after Yankee slugger Jason Giambi. The young Jasson accompanied his father to the grocery store, where they had a television to watch New York Yankee games.

By the age of eight, with his father’s nurturing he was actively playing baseball and working with different academies before he signed on with noted buscone Ivan Noboa at age 13. According to Yankees Magazine, Dominguez and Noboa made bets on each other. Dominguez saw Noboa’s track record, the Major Leaguers that he had produced, including Nomar Mazara, who earned a then-record $5 million bonus from the Rangers in 2011. He was willing to commit a percentage of his future earnings in exchange for years of training from Noboa and his team of instructors. On the other side, Noboa saw the same things that American teams’ scouts would notice over the next few years. A work ethic and an attitude that, when combined with a body that was advanced far beyond most kids his age, projected to something special enough to be worth one of the three or four spots available at the academy in any given year.

“He wasn’t fully developed,” Noboa says, with González translating. “You could see that he had the hitting ability, but he didn’t have the power. And he was only like 5-foot-4 when I first met him. You could project him, guess that he was going to develop into what he did, obviously with time and work.”

Under Noboa’s direction Dominguez would wake up between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. every day and begin his demanding routine. Mornings were for defense and conditioning, then batting practice before lunch. After some time cleaning the house and a quick nap, he’d head to the gym around 2 p.m. for a full workout. Sometimes he’d add in a second afternoon hitting session. School? That was on Saturday.

Within a year or so, Dominguez was racing toward the top of the class, drawing all kinds of attention around the island. Every team was sending scouts, including the New York Yankees. Donny Rowland runs the Yankees’ international scouting department, and, in concert with the player development staff in Tampa and the executives in New York. Rowland had been getting amazing reports on the young Jasson Dominguez. The Yankees’ affinity for Jasson Dominguez can be summed up by his cost. Rarely does a 16-year-old Latin American player demand $5 million, let alone get it. On July 2, 2019 Dominguez signed a $5.1 million contract with the Yankees.

We are talking about a player that can play the outfield, centerfield in particular, pitch and catch. Add to that the he regularly hits homers over the fences and beyond the trees of the Yankee training academy. Plus he is a switch-hitter. Also when you look at Dominguez you don’t see a boy of 17, you see a monster of a man that looks ten years older and in the prime of his career.

Before siging the contact with the Yankees, Jasson Dominguez said this:

“On July 1, it was only rumors,” Jasson says some six months later. “Nothing was a fact. July 3, it was a fact. … I had a goal, I worked for my goal, I reached my goal. But that’s in the past. I need to set up new goals.

“But also, I was thinking, ‘This is the time. I’m here. I’m doing it.’ And I felt like I had proved to other people that might have their doubts that I could do the things that I knew that I could do.”

All the scouts include Rowland were seeing the likes of Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout in Dominguez. And that became even more evident when Jasson arrived at the Yankees academy in Boca Chica, DR.  That was when he was only 16 years old. Since then an already muscular young man has turned into a monster of a man, far beyond his years. He has grown seven inches sinced he work with Noboa, and put on thirty pound of muscle, he is 5′ 10″ and 195 pounds.

When you look at Dominguez the first thing you see is his broad shoulders, massive biceps and thighs the size of Volkswagens. Then as he talks you are brought back down to reality when you see the braces on his teeth. Teeth don’t straigten quickly and either does the making of a New York Yankee. There is a process. Whether you call Jasson the “Martian,” due to his out of this world talent, or “Monster” because his massive build, the reality is that he is still a kid.

The process of becoming a Yankee involves constant work outs. Hitting instruction and fielding instruction, but it also involves classwork. Classwork on how to conduct yourself and how to be a Yankees and represent the tradition of the team.

“I think there’s just a sense of urgency that’s coming with his work,” says Andrew Wright, the director of the Yankees’ Dominican academy. “It’s go time now. I know you talk about that clock, that he’s now got to think about preparing himself for a long career, but every day has to matter. He came in understanding that, but I think you can really see it now. He’s competitive. And he’s also a 17-year-old kid. You’ve got to understand that he has to be afforded the same perspective that you would give any other 17-year-old. I think that’s one of the things that we really have to be cognizant of, as the people who are trying to guide him through his first years in professional baseball.”

Jasson is a Christian. In his Instagram bio, his first descriptive word of himself is “Christian,” followed by the hashtag #GodFirst with prayer emoji hands. He is a young man on a mission to become the best baseball player ever. Whether he makes his major league debut this year of next, depends on his progress. What might be telling, is if the Yankees invite him to summer camp in Tampa at George M. Steinbrenner Field, if they do that might be a path to playing in the minors with the Tampa A team. If that doesn’t happen he will likely spend another year at the Yankee Academy in the Dominican Republic. Whichever the case the Yankees may just have a generational baseball star in the making.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam

UFC Vegas 12 Preview: Anderson Silva vs Uriah Hall

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 12, one of the greatest of all time might make the walk for the final time. Former middleweight champion, Anderson Silva (34-10, 1 NC) will be taking on Uriah Hall (15-9) in the main event tomorrow night.

The Spider is one of the greatest champions in UFC history. This week there has been a lot of talk about this fight and his career. At first, Silva did indicate that tomorrow would be his retirement fight. However, he seems to be hedging on that retirement now. 

Silva has not been the same guy since he lost to Chris Weidman back at UFC 162 back in 2013. Weidman ended Silva’s historic title reign when Silva was caught while showboating. Since that fight, Silva is just 1-6, 1 NC in his last eight fights.

Had Silva just retired after he defeated Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153, he would have gone down as the GOAT. However, Silva’s love for the sport kept him pushing on. Now he takes on a contender in his final fight that reminds a lot of people of Silva.

When Uriah Hall appeared on the Ultimate Fighter, everyone marveled at his striking skills. He was being touted as the next Anderson Silva. After running through the show, Hall stumbled at the finale against Kelvin Gastelum.

Hall’s UFC career has been filled with highs and lows. The best win of his career came when he knocked out Bellator champion, Gegard Mousasi. However, he also has a couple of tough losses like the ones to John Howard and Rafael Natal.

UFC Vegas 12 Prediction

Since his loss to Natal, Hall has only really lost to top competition since 2015. He’s on a two fight winning streak, and he realizes that he needs to do something special at UFC Vegas 12 to get him moving towards the top of the division.

However, Silva is not someone that’s easy to look good against. Just look at his fight against Israel Adesanya. The current UFC middleweight champion struggled at times with Silva. Silva is a master of distance and movement even at his advanced age.

When it comes to the fight tomorrow night, I’m not expecting drastic fireworks. I think that we will be in for more of a striking chess match. While I really want to see Silva go out on a win, I’m going to lean towards Hall. I think he’ll be more active and score enough points to earn a decision.

Prediction: Uriah Hall by Unanimous Decision