In the first card on Brazilian soil in three years, Saturday’s UFC 283 pay-per-view event produced no shortage of fireworks and great moments in Rio de Janeiro.
Along with a couple of title fights at the top of the marquee, the card also featured 17 different Brazilian-born fighters in 15 fights. Legendary light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua also said goodbye after the close of a 21-year career and retired featherweight king José Aldo broke down in tears cageside when it was announced he would headline the Hall of Fame class. UFC 2023 Fame.
Let’s take a closer look at the biggest takeaways from the action inside the Octagon.
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1. Jamahal Hill won every inch of the UFC light heavyweight title
There was no shortage of criticism for UFC bosses after a December tie between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant 205-pound title led president Dana White to rush to order Glover Teixeira to face Hill, the number one 7 in the ranking, for the belt. But the extra miles inside the cage that Hill was forced to travel by former champion Teixeira and his otherworldly level of toughness went a long way to making Hill feel like the rightful champion when all was said and done. Hill stayed away for the entirety of Round 1 to set a tone that Teixeira wouldn’t be able to rough him up on the ground. From there, Hill blew off his feet with superb boxing and incredible poise as he put up a five-round championship stamina and passed every test Teixeira had for him.
This was a mature and game-changing performance for a 31-year-old fighter who was largely unheralded despite an 11-1 record. Many others would have given up in his place if they hadn’t been completely ready for the opportunity because Teixeira simply didn’t capitulate even as the extreme swelling and blood around his eyes compromised his vision and he seemingly stayed one punch away from regaining full strength. Fight. Even when Teixeira rallied to drop Hill in Round 5, sliding at full speed for a brief time, Hill never broke down and he broke down emotionally after the last horn once it became clear his dreams had come true, even if many had recounted it so vocally. outside.
2. Glover Teixeira’s post-fight retirement was just in time
Teixeira said as much himself after the fight, admitting he’s probably too tough for his own good before confirming that a unanimous decision loss in his third shot at UFC gold would be his last. For a fighter who has already drastically redefined his legacy by blasting his way to the title at age 42 in 2021, the performance Teixeira saved for last against Hill was as memorable and impressive as any of his 33 professional victories. There was a point after Round 4, as the cage doctor was examining his badly damaged face, that Teixeira’s corner would have been justified in throwing in the towel simply to prevent Teixeira from compromising his eventual retirement. A standout knockout artist who entered a final three-fight streak on Saturday, Hill landed the kind of head kicks and powerful right hands that would have killed 99% of the planet, but Teixeira never stopped pressing forward in a inspiring performance like this. he was crazy. Known for his good heart and demeanor, Teixeira might not garner the same acclaim typically reserved for Brazilian MMA heroes like Rua, Aldo, Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva or Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but he belongs at the same table as any of them. based on what it is. inside UFC 283 marked the close of one of the most exciting second chapters in MMA history.
3. Brandon Moreno left no doubt as to who won the quadrilogy flyweight title
Despite a chorus of jeers and a barrage of trash pelted at him by a pro-Deveison Figueiredo crowd, Moreno managed to get some closure on the matter.and it wasn’t even that close. Moreno twice escaped Figueiredo’s legitimate submission attempts, but dominated him in almost every other way. Not only did Moreno improve to 2-1-1 against Figueiredo, making him the winner of the rivalry, but both of his wins were largely one-sided stoppages. Even with a late camp change after trainer Jason Krause was suspended by the UFC amid a gambling scandal, Moreno kept his balance and was sharp with his punches. A left hook in the third round opened a second cut around Figueiredo’s right eye, which swollen shut causing the cage doctor to inspect after the round and advise referee Herb Dean to end the fight. Figueiredo announced that he will officially move up to bantamweight in the post-fight interview, allowing Moreno a second shot at building a sustained title reign.
4. Gilbert Burns is still a problem for the welterweight division
Unable to lure Colby Covington or Jorge Masvidal into a big-money fight, Burns decided to stay busy against the ever-active Neil Magny. And at 36, sporting a pair of boyish curls on top of his head, Burns looked as if a potential second shot at the 170-pound title was still within reach after dominating Magny en route to a first-round submission. . After fighting three rounds against Khamzat Chimaev in his last outing in a contested decision loss, Burns refocused on his grappling strength and boldly announced after the win that there isn’t another welterweight alive he can’t do the same against. same. . Oh yeah, and “Durinho” also added a mic drop moment to close by calling out Covington once again.