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Monday, January 30, 2023

Jamahal Hill Becomes First Champ From Contender Series, Glover Teixeira Retires

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JANUARY 20: (LR) Brazilian opponents Glover Teixeira and Jamahar Hill face off during the UFC 283 weigh-in on January 20, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The first PPV main event of 2023 will see 43-year-old former champion Glover Teixeira take on rising star Jamajal Hill at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Teixeira’s home stadium.

Glover won the belt in 2021, but lost to Jiri Prochazka in the 2022 Fight of the Year. The fight featured a truly wild sequence of events, with Jiri injured, vacating his belt, and the ensuing title fight that ended in a disappointing draw at UFC 282 last month. Before the night was over, the UFC had booked the 283 main event Teixeira vs. Hill and preparations began. It seemed like Glover might be looking to beat Jamahir and use his jiu-jitsu on Saturday night, while Hill looked to use his knockout power to take out the division’s elder statesman.

The first round started with Teixeira’s feint. Just ten seconds later he had a real attempt and got plugged, but ended up getting bogged down. Hill broke free and suffered a knee injury on the break. After that, Hill kicked Glover’s body and legs with his long legs from within range for a while. Glover then stuffed another one-legged shot before eating a huge straight right hand from Jamahal, followed by a huge three-piece combo. Glover wasn’t out, though, as he returned fire and landed his own shot, but Hill took the lead early on. A look from Teixeira stops the action, but only for a moment. When they restarted, Hill delivered another hit despite Glover’s deep hip. Teixeira pressed forward for the remainder of the bout, each fighter struck a strike in the final ten seconds, and Hill clearly won.

The second round saw Glover press forward behind his lead until Jamahir paid him back by poking the Brazilian in the eye in the first round. Glover returned to action after a short break while saying, “One on one.” Teixeira returned to the fight with a vengeance, but Hill turned and hurt the former champion. Glover hit the fence, but survived. While his face was bleeding, he rushed forward and fired a shot himself, hitting the young boxer while also opening Hill in the face. The fight started to turn into a big fight, with both fighters hitting big shots. Halfway through the bout, Glover was finally able to knock Hill to the ground. They leaned against the fence, with Glover in control. Hill mounted briefly but was able to get his defender back. Hill managed to use the fence to get back up with a minute left in the round. Jamahal briefly offloaded the ball on Glover, but by the end of the round, Glover had gained front foot and was attacking when the bell rang.

Glover started the third round with a one-leg knockdown, then switched to a two-legged knockout against the fence. Hill was able to use the high post defense and get back into the hitting range. Jamahal transitioned from trying to land a bomb to pumping his jab from both positions and touching Glover’s face. A big head kick was partially blocked, but Glover still wobbled as he wobbled backwards through the cage before collapsing onto his back. Hill looked to slam the ground and press hard on the Brazilian, who narrowly survived with just over a minute to go as Mark Goddard watched on. Glover’s face was covered in blood. Eventually, Hill put Glover on so he could get him to strike again. Despite being badly beaten, Teixeira continued on. Hill is starting to show signs of fatigue, but his bat speed has only dipped slightly. Jamahal ended the round with a big knee to the head before hitting the buzzer with a right hand.

Hill played southpaw in the title game. The big knee in the game fell off Hill early on. Teixeira tried to turn it into a down, but failed again. Another powerful kick from Jamahal staggered Glover despite hitting the back, but somehow he stayed in the fight. Glover looked finished at one point as he retreated, but then he came back with a two-punch combo that did some damage to Hill. This made him emboldened, and he took another step forward in an instant, but the blood gushing from his eye sockets made him pat his head, and he quickly stood up again. Hill swarmed and injured Teixeira, but Glover fought back at the urging of Mark Goddard. But that wasn’t enough to keep Hill from him, as the Americans swarmed in, crushing the former champion with punches and knees in the middle of the pack. By the end of the fourth round, Glover could barely see with blood on his brow.

One of Glover’s cornerbacks, John Hackleman, wanted to stop the fight between possessions, but that didn’t happen. After a doctor’s examination, Teixeira returned in the final round. With the first 30 seconds, Glover made a shot, got stuffed, but then chained the attempt into a successful outside jumper that gave him the upper hand at halfback. Glover fought his way past the half-back and went all out with three minutes left in the fight. With Teixeira so high up on the hill, Hill was able to sneak under Glover’s legs. Jamahir rose to his feet at half-back, his elbows raining down on Teixeira’s already broad forehead. Glover eventually struggled to get up, and Hill got him up, opting to resume hitting. Teixeira pushed forward in the last minute, looking for a desperate knockout as Hill retreated. Glover tries to spur him on offense by playing him, but Hill won’t be lured into taking unnecessary risks.

Hill broke the record previously held by Marvin Vettori for the most strikes by a boxer in a light heavyweight fight. Jamahal Hill burst into tears and later screamed to the sky before the scorecard was even read, knowing he had done enough to be champion. Bruce Buffer read the scorecard and all three made clean sweeps of Hill and put in good measure to score 10-8. Hill fell to his knees and sobbed again as the belt wrapped around his waist.

After the game, Teixeira announced his retirement, saying he would focus on coaching Alex Pereira. He added that it was an honor to retire on the same night as legendary UFC light heavyweight champion Shogun Rua.

Official result: Jamahal Hill def. Glover Teixeira won by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)

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