After nearly three years away from the country due to COVID-19, the UFC will make its long-awaited return to Brazil for UFC 283.
The main event pits the vacant Light Heavyweight title on the line between former champion Glover Teixeira and the surging Jamahal Hill. The co-main event features the first quadrilogy in UFC history as Deiveson Figueiredo once again looks to defend his Flyweight title against Brandon Moreno.
Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill (LHW Championship)
Five straight wins carried Glover Teixeira (33-8, 16-6 UFC) into a title shot, where he submitted Jan Blachowicz and captured UFC gold just days after his 42nd birthday. He looked poised to defend his belt opposite Jiri Prochazka in a Fight of the Year candidate but succumbed to a last-minute submission. A staple of elite promotions like Strikeforce and Pride along with the UFC, Teixeira’s credentialed jiu-jitsu game has proven itself at the highest level time and time again, landing more than ten takedowns across his last three contests. His fundamental boxing is ever dangerous as well, holding 17 knockout wins among his 28 career finishes. While Teixeira is still a constant finishing threat and unquestionably one of the most dangerous grapplers active in the UFC, his durability is a concern at this stage in his career.
Jamahal Hill (11-1, 5-1 UFC) quickly started racking up wins after securing a contract-winning knockout on the Contender Series, scoring two victories (and one other that ended up being overturned) before suffering a stoppage loss to Paul Craig. He rebounded with three straight knockout defeats, most recently dispatching Thiago Santos in the fourth round. “Sweet Dreamz” is a technical striker who keeps an excellent volume along with solid utilization of range. While his best work is done using his quick boxing, his long kicks and knees mix up his shot selection. While Hill does sport terrific takedown defense, he is limited once secured on the mat.
After the draw last month that left the division’s title picture increasingly unstable, this bout was quickly (and shockingly) put together. The bout looks to be a stylistic clash once again pitting a representative of the new breed of MMA against a battle-tested Octagon veteran. I doubt we see the scorecards in this affair, as both fighters prefer the finish and have key weaknesses that play into their opponent’s strength. Hill will be looking to keep the fight at range and land power strikes, while Glover will look to open up in the pocket, pressure forward, and land takedowns. The key element of this fight is Jamahal Hill’s takedown defense and whether he can keep the fight standing, as Glover’s experience and BJJ credentials will work over Hill if the fight stays on the mat for extended periods. After being taken down by Thiago Santos in his last outing and suffering his lone career loss on the ground to Paul Craig, I like Glover to secure the takedown and finish the fight with a choke. Hill has the power to end it quickly, however, but I expect Glover’s experience to show itself by the third round.
My Pick: GLover Teixeira via Submission
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno IV (FLW Championship)
As wild as it seems to see a quadrilogy bout unfold in the Octagon, you cannot expect anything else after watching the first three meetings between these two fighters. They are tightly matched on the feet and on the mat, putting on action-packed fights in every affair. Despite the potential x-factor with his weight cut, I am siding with Figueiredo again here. Their last bout saw improved takedown defense from Figgy and while Moreno held the advantage in volume, Figueiredo’s power shots loomed large in the three knockdowns across that bout. While this is as razor-close a fight as they come, I like Figueiredo to get his hand raised in yet another close decision, winning out with superior damage and control time along the fence.
My Pick: Deiveson Figueiredo via Decision
Gilbert Burns vs. Neil Magny (WW)
My Pick: Gilbert Burns via Decision
Jessica Andrade vs. Lauren Murphy (FLW)
My Pick: Jessica Andrade via Knockout
Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker (LHW)
My Pick: Paul Craig via Submission
The full card features an astonishing fifteen fights with the main card going live at 10 PM EST!
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