After Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz fought in a controversial split draw at UFC 282, the promotion was set to fill the vacant lightweight division and quickly moved to Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill in the main event of UFC 283.
On Saturday night, there was no doubt who the next champion would be, as Hill (12-1) defeated Teixeira (33-9) with a unanimous decision victory to take the gold.
Teixeira immediately went for the takedown, but Hill got out of it and kept the former champ at bay. Hill landed a few knees to the head from the clinch and collected low kicks to avoid the level changes. Teixeira landed a calf kick that looked to block Hill near the end of the round, but Hill went back to an uppercut combination.
Hill rocked Teixeira with a huge head kick in the second and backed the former champ against the cage, trying to close the deal with shot after shot. Teixeira found his feet and went right back at Hill, opening a cut on the latter’s top. Hill landed another huge head kick, but Teixeira kept his feet and continued with his first successful takedown of the night. Teixeira took Hill’s back, but Hill went into his guard. Teixeira floated Hill to the ground and moved into side control as Hill slid to sit against the cage. Hill slipped up out of Teixeira’s grip and made his way back to his feet. Teixeira continued to push forward as Hill threw counter attacks moving back.
Hill put Teixeira on his back to open the third and Teixeira fought Hill as best he could from his back. Back on his feet, Teixeira continued to move forward and Hill’s conditioning began to be an issue. Teixeira went to her job several times, and Hill was full of big shots of his own.
Hill was rejuvenated opening the fourth, mixing in jabs and going back to his head kick failure. Teixeira connected on a big uppercut that seemed to hurt his opponent, but he couldn’t follow up with anything substantial. Between rounds, Teixeira’s corner discussed stopping the fight, but he didn’t.
In the fifth and final round, Teixeira walked Hill against the cage and earned a takedown. From side control, Teixeira moved into half guard, then full mount. Hill slipped under Teixeira and earned a resignation. With about a minute left, Hill stood up and allowed Teixeira to get back to his feet before the final bell rang.
The light heavyweight title scene has been in turmoil since Jiri Prochazka vacated the belt due to a shoulder injury that required surgery and would keep him out of action for six months. Teixeira, who was due to face Prochazka in a rematch after his loss, reportedly turned down a title opportunity and a last-minute move to fight Ankalaev. Instead he requested a move a month later to UFC 283, which was denied, and Blachowicz was awarded the bout at 282. On Saturday night, he got a fight on his terms when he returned to the Octagon for the first time since his loss last June.
Hill entered the biggest fight of his career on a three-fight win streak, finishing former title challenger Thiago Santos with a fourth-round TKO.