Jamahal Hill put on the performance of a lifetime on Saturday, raising his game multiple levels to dominate Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to the UFC’s vacant light heavyweight title.
Hill won by scores of 50-44 on all three judges’ scorecards. He opened two massive cuts around each of Teixeira’s eyes and left no doubt about the outcome.
He survived two bouts on the ground, once in the second and again in the fifth, dealing calmly with Teixeira’s fabled jiu-jitsu game.
He fell to the ground in tears when the bout ended and was crying unabashedly as he hugged his coaches even before the scores were read.
Teixeira retired after the bout, ending a brilliant career, but this was a night to remember for Hill. He also became the first fighter from “Dana White’s Contender Series” to win a UFC championship.
“Anything’s possible,” Hill said through his tears while still on his knees in the Octagon. “Hard work, dedication, accountability. Don’t let nobody tell you nothing. Too many people tried to tell me I couldn’t do it. It was impossible. I needed to win in one round. I couldn’t go five.
“Well, what the f*** you got to say now?”
Hill’s performance left many who saw it speechless. He went off as a favorite at BetMGM, so it was no shock that he’d won. What was a shock was the way he took apart the former champion and one of the elite 205-pounders of this era.
Hill was blasting Teixeira with seemingly the perfect combinations throughout. His jab was dominant and he had a 232-75 edge in significant strikes landed. He landed 57 percent of his significant strikes and limited Teixeira to just 2 of 17 on his takedown attempts.
He battered and beat Teixeira for the better part of the five minutes each round and took the fight out of Teixeira.
“I think I’m too tough for my own health,” Teixeira said. “I can’t keep up anymore. I’m going to focus on [training middleweight champion] Alex [Pereira] on what he’s got to do to keep his belt [before] he goes off to light heavyweight. It’s an honor to put down the gloves on the same night as Shogun [Rua, who retired earlier in the night].”
Teixeira fought bravely, but Hill was several levels above him. He had an answer for everything Teixeira tried and is now the man to beat in one of the sport’s glamor divisions.