It took a bizarre series of circumstances for Jamahal Hill to receive the opportunity to fight for the UFC light heavyweight championship. On Saturday night, Hill made the most of that opportunity, battering Glover Teixeira over five rounds to win the title by a wide unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 283.
Hill wasted little time in showing that he was going to present Teixeira with some serious problems. Hill utilized a sharp jab and combinations of power punches to open up big kicks to the body and head of the former champion. More important in the early rounds, however, was Hill’s takedown defense. After being taken down several times in his previous fight, a TKO of former title challenger Thiago Santos, Hill was able to easily fend off all of Teixeira’s first-round takedown attempts.
Hill blasted Teixeira with a head kick in the second round that put Teixeira on rubber legs, but Teixeira managed to eventually score his first takedown of the fight. Hill was able to survive being on the ground with Teixeira and would again hurt him with a head kick in the third round.
It was a Hill flurry in the fourth round that was closest to finishing the fight, however, as he blasted Teixeira with punches, sending Teixeira to the canvas. Hill would continue to blast away with the referee close to jumping in to stop the fight at multiple points before the round reached its conclusion.
By the fifth round, Teixeira was sporting grotesque cuts above both eyes but the doctor allowed the fight to see the final round. Teixeira was able to get an early takedown in the final frame but Hill again managed to survive and reverse the position, snuffing out the last bit of hope Teixeira had of pulling off a Hail Mary and stealing the fight.
Surviving the full distance while taking as much damage as Teixeira had was something of a moral victory, but toughness is not enough to win a fight and Hill had clearly won all five rounds, which was reflected in the final scorecards, each reading 50-44 in favor of Hill.
“From where I came from, to get to this, it’s unreal,” an emotional Hill said after the fight. “Anything is possible. Hard work, dedication, accountability. Don’t let nobody tell you nothing. Too many people told I couldn’t do this, it was impossible, I gotta win in one round, I couldn’t go five. What the f— you have to say now?”
After the fight, Teixeira complimented Hill’s toughness before laying his gloves down in the ring, announcing his retirement just hours after fellow MMA legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fought the final fight of his own career.
“In reality, I think I’m too tough for my own good and too tough for my own health. … It’s an honor to put the gloves down on the same night as [Rua].”
UFC 283 card and results
- Jamahal Hill def. Glover Teixeira via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)
- via third-round TKO (doctor stoppage)
- Gilbert Burns def. Neil Magny via first-round submission (arm triangle)
- Jessica Andrade def. Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
- via first-round TKO (punches)
- Ihor Potieria def. Mauricio Rua via first-round TKO (punches)
- Bruno Ferreira def. Gregory Rodrigues via first-round knockout (punch)
- Thiago Moises def. Melquizael Costa via second-round submission (neck crank)
- Gabriel Bonfim def. Mounir Lazzez via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
- Jailton Almeida def. Shamil Abdurakhimov via second-round TKO (punches)
- Cody Stamann def. Luan Luiz Lacerda via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- via second-round knockout (knee)
- Nicolas Dalby def. Warlley Alves via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Josiane Nunes def. Zarah Fairn via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Daniel Marcos def. Saimon Oliveira via second-round knockout (strikes)