Jamahal Hill becomes the first Contender Series champion, Glover Teixeira retires

Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill, UFC 283
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JANUARY 20: (LR) Opponents Glover Teixeira of Brazil and Jamahal Hill face each other during the UFC 283 weigh-in at Jeunesse Arena 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 features forty-three-year-old former champion Glover Teixeira taking on rising star Jamahal Hill at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Teixeira’s home turf.

Glover won the belt in 2021, but lost it in the 2022 Fight of the Year to Jiri Prohazka. A truly wild set of events took place to make this fight happen, with Jiri getting injured, vacating the belt, and the ensuing title fight ending in a disappointing draw last month at UFC 282. Before the end of the night, the UFC booked Teixeira vs. Hill in the main event of 283 and the preparations began. It seemed likely on Saturday night that Glover would look to beat Jamahal and use his jiu-jitsu, while Hill would look to use his knockout power to defeat the elder statesman of the division.

The first round started with Teixeira feinting a takedown. Just ten seconds later, he shot for real and was pounded, but ended up in the clinch. Hill broke free and landed a monster knee on the break. Hill used his long legs to drop kicks and knees to the body and legs of Glover from distance some time after. Glover then had another leg kick before eating a massive straight right hand from Jamahl, then a massive three piece combo. Glover wasn’t out of the situation though, as he fired back and landed shots of his own, but Hill came out ahead early on. A jab to the eye from Teixeira stopped the action, but only for a moment. When they resumed, Hill scored another takedown, though Glover went deep into his thighs. Teixeira pressed forward for the remainder of the round and each fighter landed good shots in the final ten seconds of the round which Hill clearly won.

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Round two saw Glover push forward behind his lead hand as Jamahal returned the favor from round one, stabbing the Brazilian in the eye early on. Glover returned to action after a short break saying, “One on one.” Teixeira returned to the fight with a vengeance, but Hill turned it back on him and hurt the former champion. Glover hit the fence but managed to stay alive. With his face bleeding, he rushed forward with his own shots, landing on top of the younger fighter and opening a gash across Hill’s face. The fight started to turn into a barn burning with both fighters landing big shots. Midway through the round, Glover was finally able to take Hill to the ground. They were against the fence with Glover in side control. Hill mounted briefly but was able to regain guard. Hill was able to use the fence to get to his feet with one minute left in the round. Jamahal briefly unloaded on Glover, but by the end of the round, Glover had gained the front leg and was on the attack when the bell rang.

Glover started the third round with a single leg takedown and then went for a double leg against the fence. Hill was able to use an over-under to defend himself and get back into hitting range. Jamahal switched from trying to land powerbombs to pumping the jab and touching Glover’s face from both positions. A powerful head kick was partially blocked but still rocked Glover, who staggered back across the cage and then fell flat on his back. Hill looked to hit the ground and pound the Brazilian, who barely survived a massive flurry of punches for over a minute as Mark Goddard looked on. Glover’s face was masked in blood. In the end, Hill let Glover up so he could face him in the shot again. Teixeira just kept going even though he was badly beaten. Hill began to show signs of fatigue, but his punch rate slowed slightly. Jamahal finished the round with a big knee to the head and a follow up right hand at the buzzer.

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Hill went southpaw for the championship rounds. Big knee in the clinch by Hill early on. Teixeira tried to turn it into a takedown, but failed again. Another big high kick from Jamahal rocked Glover even though he hit guard, but he still stayed in the fight somehow. Glover looked ready at one point as he backed away, but then came back with a two-punch combination that hurt Hill somewhat. This encouraged him and for a moment made him go forward again, but the blood pouring from his eyes made him pat his head and turn back soon after. Hill rained punches that hurt Teixeira, but Glover hit back when prompted by Mark Goddard. But it wasn’t enough to put Hill out of it as the American rushed in even more, landing big hands and knees in the clinch that devastated the former champion. Blood from the brow made it almost impossible for Glover to see when the fourth round ended.

One of Glover’s corners, John Hackleman, wanted to stop the fight between rounds, but that didn’t happen. After a medical, Teixeira returned for the final round. The first thirty seconds saw Glover shoot for a takedown, get parried, but then connect that attempt into a successful outside trip that allowed him to come out on top in half guard. Glover worked his way past half guard and went into full mount with three minutes left in the fight. Hill was able to get out from under Glover’s legs as Teixeira got too high on the mount. Jamahal then got on top in half guard and rained down elbows that sliced ​​Teixeira’s already wide open forehead. Eventually, Glover tried to get up and Hill let him go, opting to go back to hitting. Teixeira pressed forward in the final minute, looking for a desperate knockout as Hill retreated. Glover tried to goad him into attacking by calling out to him, but Hill was not to be put at unnecessary risk.

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Hill broke the record for most significant strikes by a fighter in a light heavyweight fight to go the distance, previously held by Marvin Vettori. Jamahal Hill cried, later screamed at the sky before the scorecards were even read, knowing he had just done enough to become a champion. Bruce Buffer read the scores and the three made a clean sweep for Hill, with a 10-8 round thrown in for good measure. Hill dropped to his knees and sobbed once more as the belt was wrapped around his waist.

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

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

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