Jamahal Hill slowly made his way to his corner, and suddenly it dawned on him: He had just become UFC champion.
Hill defeated Glover Teixeira by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44) in the main event of UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday night for the vacant light heavyweight title.
Hill started crying in the coach’s embrace, then yelled before announcer Bruce Buffett read the decision as he won in dominant fashion. He pummeled Teixeira for five rounds with a vicious punch combo and a head kick that left the former champion bleeding.
“Anything is possible,” Hill said in a postgame interview. “Hard work, dedication, responsibility. Don’t let anyone tell you anything. Too many people tell me I can’t do it, it’s impossible. I need to do it in one round. I can’t go to five. Fuck you What are you going to say now?”
After that, Teixeira, who was one of the best 205-pound boxers in the world for more than a decade, announced his retirement, ending a 21-year professional boxing career. Teixeira would end his career with the most completions (13) and most submissions (7) in UFC light heavyweight history.
“I think I’m too tough on my own interests, I’m too tough on my own health,” Teixeira said.
The fight quickly unfolded in the minutes following last month’s UFC 282, when the vacant title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev ended in a draw. Jiri Prochazka relinquished the gold belt in November after being due to face Teixeira in December due to a serious shoulder injury.
After coming in, ESPN ranked Teixeira No. 1. No. 2 and Hill is ranked No. 8 in the light heavyweight world.
Hill severely injured Teixeira in the second and third rounds with a combination of head kicks and heavy punches. Although Teixeira’s eyes were cut in two places, he still moved forward. Teixeira even knocked out his opponent in the fifth round and made it back from the head. But Hill was able to sweep and get up, putting more punishment on Teixeira.
Hill holds the UFC light heavyweight record for major strikes with 232, the fifth most in a UFC fight. Teixeira scored just 75 big strikes. “This guy is tough as a brick, man,” Hill said. “I don’t know anyone who can take what I throw at me and move on. …I’ve heard [referee] mark [Goddard] Say keep fighting. Damn, he is. “
Hill (12-1, 1 NC) has won four straight. The Chicago native, who trained in Michigan, has four of his five UFC victories via KO/TKO. Hill, 31, stopped Thiago Santos by fourth-round TKO in his most recent bout last August. He is a Contender Series alumnus of Dana White, the first UFC champion to win.
Teixeira (33-9) ceded the light heavyweight title to Prochazka in the best fight of 2022 at UFC 275 last June. The Brazilian-born boxer, who lives and trains in Connecticut, was on a six-game winning streak before that loss. The 43-year-old Teixeira defeated Blahovic for the belt at UFC 267 in October 2021, becoming the oldest first-time champion in UFC history.
In his post-fight interview, Teixeira said he saw the Brazilian crowd throw things at UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno earlier in the night after Moreno defeated Brazilian fighter DeVision Figueiredo. Teixeira asked the crowd not to do the same to Hill. “I’m going to walk back with him,” Teixeira said. “I want you to respect him. He’s a champion.”