Jamahal Hill produced the performance of a lifetime to defeat Glover Teixeira and capture the undisputed UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fighting on Teixeira’s home soil, Hill delivered a display full of composure as he showcased his full range of skills to outstrike the former champion, while also holding his own on the mat against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Hill dominated the fight and appeared to have Teixeira badly hurt on a number of occasions as he connected with his shots almost at will through the five-round championship duration. But Teixeira simply would not go away, and threatened with takedowns, while also clipping Hill with shots when up close.
But, despite Teixeira’s abundance of heart and persistence, he had no answer to Hill, who was too sharp, too slick, too powerful, and too good, as the American proved to the world that he was more than worthy of a shot at the gold.
By the time the fight reached the championship rounds, Teixeira was horribly busted up and barely in the fight, while Hill’s attempts to finish him were only thwarted by the Brazilian’s ability to take a remarkable amount of shots and still fire back before referee Marc Goddard could deem him unable to intelligently defend himself.
Then, in the fifth round, Teixeira had one final push for victory and had the crowd on their feet when he landed a takedown early in the round, then worked his way into mount. But Hill, whose ground game had barely been seen in his previous UFC outings, showed his composure and grappling fundamentals to stay out of trouble before reversing position on the exhausted 43-year-old. In that moment, Teixeira’s chances of victory were extinguished as the fight, remarkably, went all the way to the final horn.
The judges were unanimous in not just their verdict, but also their scores, with all three scoring the bout to Hill 50-44, as an emotional Hill was crowned champion at 205 pounds. He also made history as the first fighter from Dana White’s Contender Series to capture a UFC title.
After the fight, Hill paid tribute to Teixeira’s toughness as he showed respect to the Brazilian legend, while Teixeira returned the compliment before announcing his decision to retire from competition. Instead, he said, he would concentrate on coaching his protege, the newly-crowned UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira.
Moreno finishes Figueiredo to recapture flyweight title
In the co-main event, Mexico’s Brandon Moreno claimed bragging rights over Deiveson Figueiredo as the interim flyweight champion earned a TKO finish of the defending champion to capture the unified flyweight crown and took the spoils in their four-fight series.
Moreno looked the better of the two through the first three rounds as he showed sharp boxing and excellent movement to outstrike and outmaneuver the defending champion through the first 15 minutes.
But, it was one punch that proved crucial for “The Assassin Baby” as Moreno connected with a punch that landed flush on Figueiredo’s right eye. Figueiredo appealed for an eye poke, but replays clearly showed there was no foul from Moreno, and the action continued, with the Brazilian’s eye rapidly swelling.
By the end of the third round, Figueiredo’s eye was completely closed, and after a quick inspection from the cageside physician, the fight was waved off, with Moreno claiming the win and becoming a two-time flyweight champion as a result.
After losing his title, Figueiredo congratulated his longtime rival, then announced that he was leaving the division and would be moving up to bantamweight.
Moreno, meanwhile, unified the titles at 125 pounds to stand alone at the top of the division, and closed out his four-fight championship rivalry with Figueiredo, with a final score of 2-1-1 in his favor after their epic quadrilogy.
Burns produces red-hot display
In the featured non-title fight of the evening, welterweight contender Gilbert Burns gave a timely reminder of his elite grappling skills as he submitted all-time welterweight wins leader Neil Magny in less than a round.
Former jiu-jitsu world champion Burns was renowned more for his stand-up wars inside the UFC Octagon, with his elite grappling tending to take a back seat in many of his biggest fights. But that changed in Rio as he turned to his BJJ skillset to get Magny to the mat, before mounting him, working into a position, then locking up a tight arm-triangle choke to force the tap with 45 seconds left in the first round.
After his victory, Burns declared his plan to defeat everyone at the top of the division en route to the title, then issued a direct call-out to former interim champion Colby Covington.
Andrade wows crowd with dominant performance
Also on the main card, former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade produced a brilliant performance to dominate former flyweight title challenger Lauren Murphy.
Andrade’s willingness to step into the pocket and throw heavy-handed combinations proved too much for Murphy, whose toughness and refusal to quit were the only things keeping her in the fight. The action was so one-sided that even the UFC’s commentary team were questioning why Murphy’s corner hadn’t thrown in the towel, and why referee Osiris Maia opted not to intervene to spare Murphy more punishment.
In the end, the bout went all the way to the finish, with Andrade picking up a landslide decision victory with scores of 30-25, 30-25, 30-26.
Bonfim brothers claim debut wins
Fighting brothers Gabriel and Ismael Bonfim both produced stunning finishes as the siblings who both earned contracts on Dana White’s Contender Series marked their UFC debuts with emphatic victories.
Lightweight Ismael was first up, and he set the bar incredibly high with one of the most impressive Octagon debuts seen in recent memory. His second-round knockout of fellow hot prospect Terrance McKinney showcased the Brazilian’s patience, composure and compact fighting style as he connected with big punches from close range in a sharp combination that dislodged McKinney’s mouthguard.
Then, with the American still looking to defend up against the cage, Ismael launched into a jumping knee that connected clean and sent McKinney face-planting into the canvas.
Ismael’s spectacular knockout win was watched by brother Gabriel from the dressing room, and he then took center stage himself to score a 49-second submission victory over Mounir Lazzez.
Gabriel stook and traded on equal terms with Lazzez and clipped his man with a number of heavy shots. It prompted Lazzez to launch into an ill-advised takedown attempt. Bonfim saw it coming, snatched his opponent’s neck and locked up a guillotine choke. He then rolled into mount and applied more pressure to force the tap and claim an eye-catching victory of his own.
Shogun bids farewell
The event marked the end of an iconic fighting career as former UFC light heavyweight champion and Pride middleweight grand prix champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua called time on his Hall of Fame-worthy career.
But there was no fairytale ending for “Shogun’s” career as he was finished by Ukrainian prospect Ihor Potieiria.
Potieria had only fought once before in the UFC – a defeat to Nicolae Negumereanu last July – but he had too much for Rua, who by this stage in his career was a pale shadow of the fighter who had terrorized the light heavyweight division in the early 2000s.
After being rocked, then finished by Potieria, “Shogun” thanked the Brazilian fans for their support throughout his career before leaving his gloves in the center of the Octagon – the traditional sign of a fighter’s retirement.
UFC 283: Official results
- Jamahal Hill def. Glover Teixeira via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44) – for vacant light heavyweight title
- Brandon Moreno (ic) def. Deiveson Figueiredo (c) via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 3, 5:00 – for unified flyweight title
- Gilbert Burns def. Neil Magny via submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:15
- Jessica Andrade def. Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
- Johnny Walker def. Paul Craig via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:16
- Ihor Potieria def. Mauricio Rua via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:05
- Brunno Ferreira def. Gregory Rodrigues via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 4:13
- Thiago Moises def. Melquizael Costa via submission (face crank) – Round 2, 4:05
- Gabriel Bonfim def. Mounir Lazzez via submission (mounted guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:49
- Jailton Almeida def. Shamil Abdurakhimov vis TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 2:56
- Cody Stamann def. Luan Lacerda via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ismael Bonfim def. Terrance McKinney via knockout (jumping knee) – Round 2, 2:17
- Nicolas Dalby def. Warlley Alves via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Josiane Nunes def. Zarah Fairn Dos Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Daniel Marcos def. Saimon Oliveira via knockout (knee to the body) – Round 2, 2:18