This may be Glover Teixeira’s last chance to be champion. Perhaps there will never be another solid crowning opportunity for Jamahall Hill. Both clash this Saturday at UFC 283 based in Rio de Janeiro for the vacant belt in the light heavy division.
This is the 205-pound title that will leave Jiri Prochazka vacant and for which Magomed Ankalaev or Jan Blachowicz already fought on December 10. However, when that match proved disappointing and ended in a draw, Dana White simply made a drastic decision.
Instead of calling for a rematch between those two title warriors, he instead sought out former champion Teixeira to fight up-and-coming Hill, declaring the new fight would be for the title, much to the astonishment of pundits and fans alike.
Now everyone expects Hill and Teixeira to deliver a more entertaining matchup than Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev, something possible due to the styles and histories of the Brazilian and the American. But who will come out on top at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro?
it is probably fair to say that the favorite is Teixeira. The former champion is now 43 years old, but he has never come across as old-fashioned or out of the mood, not even in his savage loss to Czech Prochazka last year.
Despite his age, Teixeira is probably dangerous all around. A world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, his flashiness is phenomenal, and he loves nothing more than to crush an opponent from the saddle to end the fight. His punches are very powerful and he has knocked out the likes of Rashad Evans and Ryan Bader.
Can Hill win this fight? “Sweet Dreams” possesses a fraction of Teixeira’s experience. In fact, his MMA debut came more than three years after the veteran first fought Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title.
When Teixeira debuted, in 2002, Hill was only 11 years old. Although he has proven dangerous, his only loss to Paul Craig in 2021 came on the ground, and Hill found himself outclassed by a fighter who was nowhere near on a level with his current opponent.
To his credit it would have to be said that the younger contender could have a chance here because of his speed. He is much faster than Teixeira, and the Brazilian has been outplayed before, such as when he was knocked out by heavy punchers such as Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson.
Hill has to do this fight perfectly to win. He can’t let Teixeira grapple him, otherwise he’ll find himself on the ground and probably lose. he should keep his distance, draw the veteran in and hope he can surprise him with something big on the counterpunch.
Teixeira, on the other hand, can win this fight in any number of different ways that will suit him in the favourite, assuming he doesn’t get reckless and hasn’t fossilized overnight. So if he magnifies his tools, he will once again be a UFC champion.