RIO DE JANEIRO – The UFC 283 main event resulted in one fighter reaching the pinnacle of the sport, while another rode off into the sunset.
Jamahal Hill(12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) defeated Glover Teixeira (33-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) to win the UFC light heavyweight title via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44). The vacant light heavyweight title bout was the UFC 283 main event at Jeunesse Arena.
Many pundits wondered how Hill would do when faced with the grappling challenges of Teixeira. The tone was set early when Hill shut down numerous takedown attempts by Teixeira. The first round was largely contested at distance with an occasional (failed) Teixeira attempt to drag it down.
In Round 2, the pace picked up as defense largely went by the wayside. In a round that wouldn’t have looked out of place if aligned with his five thrilling rounds against Jiri Prochazka in June, Teixeira found himself in trouble due to a Hill head kick.
Hill sensed Texeira’s instability and pounced with dozens of punches. Teixeira kept Hill at bay, but absorbed some damage in the process. Somehow, someway, Teixeira got Hill down and landed ground-and-pound before the round ended.
In Round 3, Hill turned up the volume. He battered Teixeira with a barrage of punches as the bout appeared to be close to a stoppage at multiple points. Hill went back to the head kick again and found success but Teixeira hung tough.
Into the championship rounds, Teixeira was mangled with nasty cuts over both eyes. He absorbed more and more strikes as the round progressed – so many strikes, in fact, that there was debate in the corner about throwing in the towel.
Ultimately, the corners and physicians decided to let the fight go on, to which Teixeira exclaimed, “Let’s go, baby. F*cking A.”
Teixeira came out aggressive, straight at Hill. In the opening minute, he took Hill down and ended up in mount. Hill scrambled and ended up on top – a crucial reversal. With one minute left, Texeira escaped to his feet. As the clock ticked, Hill avoided unnecessary exchanges en route to the final bell.
Moments after the title was wrapped around an emotional Hill’s waist, Teixeira took off his gloves and placed them in the center of the cage – as he announced his retirement.
“I’m too tough for my own good,” Teixeira said. “I’m too tough for my own health,” as he explained why he’d prefer to turn his attention to coaching at this point in his life.