In the main event of UFC 283 in Brazil, the light heavyweight title was on the line. Former champion Glover Teixeira (33-9) was trying to win back the title on home soil as he took on Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill (12-1, 1 NC).
Hill entered the bout as the betting favorite, but many had reservations in picking him in this matchup. We hadn’t seen how good Jamahal Hill was in his grappling. Outside of the Thiago Santos fight, we really hadn’t seen Hill pushed in terms of his cardio. His cardio didn’t look great against Santos.
However, he answered every question on Saturday night. First and foremost, his takedown defense was incredible. All night long, Teixeira struggled to try and get Hill to the mat which resulted in the fight primarily taking place on the feet.
Whenever Hill did get taken down, he did a very good job of popping back up. When the fight was on the feet, the speed and the power of Hill just flustered Teixeira. While Teixeira never quit, Jamahal Hill outclassed him all night long. His cardio held up and he won a lopsided decision to become UFC light heavyweight champion.
What’s next after UFC 283?
Now the question becomes, who is next for Jamahal Hill? If it weren’t for injury concerns, this would be an easy answer. The easy answer and the correct answer is former champion Jiri Prochazka. Prochazka was forced to vacate the title after suffering a severe shoulder injury late last year.
There are still questions regarding how long Jiri Prochazka will be out. If Prochazka was going to be good to go by late summer or early fall, I could see them putting Hill on ice until then to make the fight. However, I think with so many question marks, the UFC gives Hill one title defense before Prochazka.
Now, you look back at UFC 282 and the headliner between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev. The original fight for the vacant title which resulted in a draw. I think the first challenger will come from this fight and I tend to believe the promotion will give the fight to Ankalaev.
If I had to put money on it, I would say that Jamahal Hill defends for the first time over the summer against Dagestan’s Magomed Ankalaev.