Gold changed hands at UFC 283: Teixeira vs. Hill at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Two belts were decided on Sunday night with both Light Heavyweight, Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill and Flyweight, Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno becoming our new champions. Below the main card Gilbert “Durinho,” Burns showed why he is “The Welterweight Gatekeeper” and Johnny Walker proved his worth against Paul Craig. Furthermore, Jessica Andrade demolished Lauren Murphy, while Jailton Almeida and Ismael Bonfim won their performances of the night facing Shamil Abdurakhimov and Terrance McKinney respectively. Jose Aldo was inaugurated into the UFC Hall Of Fame and Pride FC finally closed the door on their veteran legends. UFC 283 was a banger of a show to kick off the main events of 2023.
Jamahal Hill Vs Glover Teixeira
What a stellar bout between these two! Glover Teixeira will soon join UFC Hall of Famer Jose Aldo with his retirement announcement. The UFC light heavyweight division has a new champion in Jamahal Hill. The 31-year-old, Contender Series victor, displayed fresh skills in his game while putting a beating on the former light heavyweight kingpin, Glover Teixeira.
Hill’s takedown defense was an impressive 89 percent in this fight. He managed range effectively, especially with his jabs. His activity was jaw-dropping for a light heavyweight, attempting 402 significant strikes and landing 232. His defense was on point, especially as Teixeira tired and his punches began to slow. However, the most impressive aspect of Hill’s game in winning the 205-pound UFC title was his kicks, both to the body and head of his opponent.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say he is the undisputed champion because, after all, the title became available when Jiri Procházka surrendered it following a shoulder injury he is rehabbing. Still, Hill left no doubt as to who the better fighter was between himself and Teixeira, and right now, that’s the only thing that matters.
Following his retirement announcement, Teixeira implored the Brazilian crowd to show Hill some respect as he left the octagon. The former champ said, via an interpreter;
“I saw you guys throwing popcorn and drinks at the last champion (Brandon Moreno). I want you to respect him (Hill). He’s going to walk back with me. He’s the champion.”
Many UFC veterans shared their respect and admiration for both fighters and some even dropped in their challenge for their new Light Heavyweight Champion.
Brandon Moreno Vs Deiveson Figueiredo
Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno looked excellent in defeating Deiveson Figueiredo. His striking was much more effective, powerful, and accurate. While his patience and defense, when caught in two guillotines, was superb.
Moreno and Figueiredo have brought out the best in each other over the past few years. The time they spent together inside the octagon should serve them both well going forward. For “the Assassin Baby” this Belt was a long time coming, despite being close most of the time.
Deiveson “Deus da Guerra” Figueredo’s lack of striking output and his inability to do damage when he did connect with his attempts, had him behind on the scorecards before Brandon Moreno closed his right eye with a punch in the third round.
On a positive note, Figueiredo said he is going to move up to bantamweight for his next fight. We expect great things from him facing the likes of Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan, Kai Kara France, and Sugar Sean O’Malley. That’s the perfect move for the 35-year-old former champion.
Meanwhile, Moreno wants a Mexico event from the UFC;
“I think as Mexicans, we deserve a pay-per-view again in Mexico City,” Moreno said. “I think right now we have an amazing position where Yair Rodriguez is fighting in February, Alexa Grasso is fighting in March, and nothing is official but Irene Aldana looks like a really clear possibility for Amanda [Nunes]. So I think this is the year for Mexicans in mixed martial arts. I’m excited.”
Gilbert Burns Vs Neil Magny
Gilbert Burns threw down another super stellar knockout for the UFC. However, he said he has been “frustrated” with the UFC matchmakers that keep booking him opposite Neil Magny. That had nothing to do with the quality of Magny as an opponent, but Burns, who entered Saturday as the No. 5 fighter in the official UFC welterweight rankings, wanted a “big” fight.
The former welterweight title challenger deserves that big matchup after his first-round submission win over Magny. If the UFC matchmakers were listening, Burns had a suggestion as to who his adversary should be in that next matchup — calling out the No. 2 ranked Colby Covington for an MMA coaching challenge at TUF.
Johnny Walker Vs Paul Craig
Johnny Walker: I’m not sure if the old aggressive Johnny Walker is back, but he has two straight first-round finishes to his name following a knockout of Paul Craig in the opening fight of the UFC 283 pay-per-view card.
In hindsight, Paul Craig will likely regret his decision to hang onto Johnny Walker’s leg as Walker landed shot after shot to Craig’s head.
Walker did an excellent job capitalizing on the mistake Craig made by hanging onto Walker’s leg while still in striking range. JW was the No. 12 fighter in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings ahead of Saturday’s fight card, while Craig was No. 9. Walker is very likely to earn himself the opportunity to face a higher-ranked opponent in his next outing.
Johnny had a lot to say after his victory, calling out Jon “Bones” Jones:
“He’s champ-champ – two belts. Come on. That’s my dream, as well, and this guy did it,” Walker told reporters at the UFC 283 post-fight press conference. “I want to be on his level one day. I want to be a good wrestler and improve all of my skills because I want to be there. I want to be ready to do what he did.
“I know it’s a huge thing to do. He’s a special fighter and motivation not just for me, but everyone else. He’s a big, big motivation, and I want to do what he did.”
UFC 283 was a superb event with stunning fights all around. A huge congratulations to both Jamahal Hill and RDX Sports ex-ambassador Brandon Moreno who pulled off a brilliant TKO Title-changing finish on the infamous Figueiredo. With that, we close January’s fight cards and get hyped for an exciting Derrick Lewis Vs Sergey Spivak UFC Fight Night 218.