The vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship is up for grabs this weekend when Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill battle in the main event of UFC 283.
Teixeira, the former champ, was scheduled to get another shot at new champion Jiri Prochazka at UFC 282, but a shoulder injury forced Prochazka to withdraw from the event before also opting to vacate the title. Teixeira still gets his opportunity but will now face Hill, who earns his title fight after an impressive three-fight win streak against Thiago Santos, Johnny Walker, and Jimmy Crute.
The five-round title fight is the scheduled main event of this Saturday’s UFC 283 event at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fight card will also feature a UFC Flyweight Championship bout between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, who will fight for the fourth time since 2020.
Find the latest Teixeira vs. Hill betting odds, as well as our staff predictions, picks, fight breakdowns, and more before UFC 283 this weekend.
- Glover Teixeira: +125
- Jamahal Hill: -125
Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill is a special kind of matchup for fans as it really is one of the rare veterans who has sustained his championship level and a guy who truly feels like the new breed of 205ers. Glover Teixeira has a wealth of experience and for as powerful, disciplined, and tough as he is, Jamahal Hill is just as athletic, talented and sharp.
As well-rounded as he is, Teixeira needs to get the fight to the mat. He is a good boxer with great power but his chin has been tested many times and it’s not getting better with age. Jamahal Hill has decent takedown defense but what stands out more is his ability to scramble back to his feet. Although, the instances where we’ve seen him showcase this were not against opponents of Teixeira’s caliber. In order to get Hill to the mat, Teixeira has to be extremely careful striking his way in.
Teixeira is primarily a boxer, and he has good bobbing and weaving that gets him inside the pocket. However he stands fairly square, so Hill would be smart to utilize a good front kick down the middle to the body and even upstairs. Hill will also enjoy an extra 3 inches of reach and while Teixeira wants to get on the inside and pressure Hill, he can’t walk onto anything because of Hill’s reach, power, and ability to fade and strike moving back. However, if Teixeira is too hesitant, watch for Hill to eat up the lead leg. In order to get in on Hill Teixeira will have to draw out Hill’s attack by pressuring without committing and counter the counter in order to slip his way in and put Hill on the fence.
On the mat, Teixeira is a master at executing the basics. He takes his opponents down by sucking in their hips off the cage and clamps into a tight mount in order to ground and pound until they’re ready to give up the back. In that same transition, he also has arm triangles. On his record, his submission wins consist of arm triangles, rear naked chokes, and guillotines, although the latter may have left a bad taste in his mouth via the Jiri Prochazka fight. Instead of pulling guard at any point, Teixeira, the black belt, should look to dominate top control and stifle the power and movement of the blue belt in Hill.
I do think that this is about who dictates the area of the fight, Teixeira should just strike enough to get to the clinch and Hill’s grappling should be focused on getting back up, not playing guard not challenging any submissions of his own. If the majority of the fight plays out on the feet, while the two men may be competitive, I don’t like Teixeira’s chances of outlasting Hill due to all the sustained damage and knockouts in his career. On the mat, I think Teixeira is at a different level than we’ve seen Hill have to deal with so far, and dragging Hill into a suffocating grappling match only goes Teixeira’s way.
The odds right now have Hill the -125 favorite, with Teixeira sitting at +125. I think this is enough of a pick’ em fight that it would be smartest to go with the underdog Teixeira as the more valuable bet, especially because championship 5-round fights are his territory and we have seen him come back from dangerous strikers like Hill in recent years.
Pick: Glover Teixeira to win (+125)
Jamahal “Sweet Dream” Hill, 31, is 11-1 as a professional with 7 knockout wins. He is getting his first title shot after a controversial draw in the previous interim title fight. Glover Teixeira, 43, lost his belt in what went down as fight of the year for many people and is looking to win it back in his home country of Brazil.
Hill is a high skilled, technical, and powerful striker who uses his length, hand speed, and power to win fights emphatically. Standing all of 6’4 with nearly an 80” reach, Hill uses his size as a weapon. Few fighters have been able to safely close distance without eating clean strikes from “Sweet Dreams.” Hill intelligently fights behind a jab, which he pumps out at a high volume. His jab, like most of his strikes, are thrown laser straight with little wasted movement. He often lands at the end of his strikes which amplifies the power behind them and only further keeps opponents at his preferred range. Hill is often the aggressor in his fights where he looks to land a piston of a 1,2 combination and back his opponents back to the cage. Unlike other more well-rounded fighters, Hill does not rush in once an opponent is pinned or hurt against the cage. Instead, he continues to land with speed and power from a safe range. His hand speed and power coupled with his high-level precision and timing allow him to still deal fight-ending damage from range. Not only does Hill’s striking create a frustrating and dangerous environment for his opponents, his style also helps keep him safe in the cage. Hill is notorious for keeping a high chin and backing up on a center line. With 205 pound fights that look to decapitate his head from his body, backing straight up with a high chin is a dangerous style. However, because Hill is almost always out of range from his opponents and he uses his high volume to keep them away, he has gotten away with this possibly problematic defense. Said plainly, Hill’s offensive striking is so overwhelming that opponents haven’t successfully been able to close distance without keeping clipped and backed up. A key component of Hill’s game that will almost certainly be put to the test in this fight is his takedown defense and subsequent defensive grappling. Hill is long and athletic so he finds success using the cage and posting to keep the fight standing. While this approach helps keep him on his feet, it does make him more stationary which can get him trapped against the cage. In the moments where Hill hits the mat, he takes his time to carefully getup rather than rush. Because his defensive grappling is basic at best, remaining calm on his back is a key. Hill is one of the best boxers in the division with legitimate fight ending power, especially early in fights.
Teixeira is somehow, despite his age and transition to coaching, still a wrecking ball in the cage. Teixeira’s fight style is less of a planned approach and more of a reaction each time a new round starts. Throughout his career, and even more apparent as he’s slowed with age, Teixeira has been a basic striker with decent power but poor defense. His offensive striking is a blitz and paw approach where he punches with short upward strikes as he rushes forward. His striking is basic but it isn’t designed to be effective. Teixeira’s striking is specifically designed to close distance by creating as much chaos as possible because he wants to make the fight a dirty boxing match in the clinch; or, better yet, get the fight to the mat. The issue with Teixeira’s striking is that he can often be hurt and nearly finished as he rushes in for the clinch or takedown. He rushes linearly with little regard for his own defense; and, especially against quality strikers, often gets hurt moving in. Recently, and to the enjoyment of many fans, Teixeira has an unbelievable ability to recover from being hurt while still pushing forward for the clinch or takedown. Once he gets his hands around an opponent, he can grind them out against the cage as he deals damage with short area striking and drains cardio as he makes his opponent hold his weight. If Teixeira can get the fight to the mat, he follows the same game plan as his clinch: grind on top with short punches and draining cardio. After thoroughly exhausting his opponent, Teixeira climbs toward their neck and looks for a submission finish.
The exciting part of this fight will be if Teixeira can safely or miraculously survive “no man’s land” as he looks to crash distance against Hill. Hill will have ample opportunity to hurt and even finish Teixeira, especially early. Teixeira has shown to be hittable against lower level strikers and Hill might be the best pure striker in the division. But, if Teixeira can close distance, he should be able to get Hill down, keep him there, drain his cardio, and threaten the submission. Maybe I’m being more fan than analyst here but I really think Teixeira gets it done. His defense has been rooted in heart and toughness recently; and, with this fight being in Brazil, I expect heart and toughness to be in abundant supply. Look for Teixeira to survive a close call or two early, get Hill down and choke him out sometime in the later rounds.
Pick: Glover Teixeira to win (+125)
Glover Teixeira has seemingly defied time as he is still in impeccable fight shape at the age of 43. While indeed approaching the end of his arguable HOF career, Teixeira is far from done from a talent perspective. This was displayed in his most recent bout against Jiri, where, many people thought the fight would be the end of his career after suffering a tough loss to the extremely dangerous challenger. But, in that fight, Glover looked impeccable. From his tight, crisp powerful boxing, to landing his suffocating takedowns, he fought an incredible fight where he would have retained the belt if he did not wear a damaging body shot that inevitably allowed Jiri to submit him due to sere exhaustion.
In this fight, I expect Teixeira to implement a similar gameplan of attack, whereby he is continually cautious of his opponent’s power, and, with caution at the forefront of his mind, finds careful openings to land his powerful tight boxing combinations which will ultimately be used to get Hill to the mat. From a pure grappling perspective, Teixeira has more than enough talent to land a takedown, secure it, and once on top, there is perhaps not a single individual in the UFC who is as heavy and mauling from that position. While talented to do so, he will need to show the ability to negate the power of Hill throughout the entire duration of the fight as Jiri’s power eventually landed and was the causal factor for his losing the belt. But, knowing Teixeira is more than experienced coupled with the fact he has not demonstrated he is over the hill – no pun intended – justifies he and his supporters feeling confident going into this matchup.
As stated prior, Jamahal Hill is an extremely powerful and dangerous fighter once the octagon doors close. Standing 6’4, he understands how to best exacerbate his natural size advantage by way of throwing straight punches that land with ferocity and damage. This style, of throwing straight-down-the-barrel punches that have enough power to put just about any opponent to sleep cannot go understated as it showcases the immense fight-ending power Hill has at his disposal. Couple this with the fact that Hill understands how to end the night in the first round just as well as he does later in the fight, and he is perhaps the most powerful fighter currently in the Light Heavyweight Division.
Beyond power, Hill did showcase fairly decent takedown defense and an ability to get off the mat in his most recent fight against Thiago Santos, a strong grappler from a physical standpoint but lacks the degree of technique Teixeira has in his arsenal. The ability to maintain strong takedown defense will be imperative in this matchup and is something he and his coach have spoken on at length with their preparation in this fight. While ramping up grappling work is not surprising to hear, he and his team stating he needs improvement in this matchup showcases fight intelligence which is always a valuable asset to have in the octagon. If the work he put in this camp evolves his already demonstrated ability to maximize his length to best mitigate getting taken to the mat, Hill will be able to keep the fight standing where he will feel more than comfortable being against Glover. But, if he gets taken to the mat on several occasions, Glover, unlike Santos, will have the skills necessary to keep him there and look to find the finish.
Jamahal Hill is underrated, dangerous, and has routinely shown the ability to pass the test each time he enters the octagon. While the case, coupled with the fact that it takes just one clean punch for him to find the finish, I am backing Glover in this matchup. His experience and underrated boxing should allow him to mitigate the power of Hill early in the fight, and, as the fight goes on, he will find a takedown which will deplete the cardio of Hill, in turn, his power, and thus, allow Glover to begin to fight the style of fight he needs to do to reclaim his belt.
Pick: Glover Teixeira to win (+125)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.