UFC 283 is in the books, and it did not disappoint. The UFC’s first pay-per-view event of the year had it all – newly crowned champions, knockouts, submissions, record breaking performances, incredible debuts and the retirement of two legends.
The raucous Rio de Janeiro crowd got right behind their fighters and enjoyed epic performances from the likes of Gilbert Burns who secured an arm triangle submission in the first round against Neil Magny.
Jessica Andrade dominated Lauren Murphy and set a new women’s flyweight record for significant strikes landed with 231 in a decision victory. She is now tied with Amanda Nunes for most wins in women’s UFC history with 15.
Johnny Walker defeated Paul Craig via TKO in the first round after Craig attempted a takedown and held on to one of Walker’s legs. Walker then connected with a heavy right hand on the chin of Craig who couldn’t defend himself as he wrapped himself around the leg of Walker. The Brazilian then landed a barrage of unanswered punches and hammer fists until the referee had no choice but to stop the fight.
Brazilian siblings Gabriel and Ismael Bonfim made their UFC debuts on the same card and made it look easy. Ismael was up first and knocked out Terrance McKinney in spectacular fashion with a flying knee. If Gabriel was feeling any pressure before his fight then he didn’t show it as he came out on top quite literally with a mounted guillotine finish over Mounir Lazzez in just 49 seconds.
Glover Teixeira vs Jamahal Hill – The main event
Before this light heavyweight championship fight Jamahal Hill had not fought anyone inside the top five. Despite this, he put on a career-best performance and handily dismantled the tough Teixeira in a decision win to claim the vacant title.
He may not have faced the top ranked fighters before this, but Hill, one of the deadliest finishers in the division, proved that he belongs at the top.
The doubters may still wonder if Hill can put on such a performance against ex-champion Jiří Procházka or even Magomed Ankalaev, but for now they should only admire the remarkable feat he has accomplished.
Hill was dominant throughout the five rounds and beat up the Brazilian veteran with fast, powerful boxing combinations. Hill’s left high kick from a southpaw stance was also an effective weapon and it visibly wobbled Teixeira several times in the fight.
The courageous Teixeira took unimaginable punishment but kept marching forward and occasionally landed his own big shots. He attempted multiple takedowns, but Hill defended them well all night showing a vast improvement in his grappling defence.
When Teixeira did complete a takedown, Hill handled himself well on the ground and at one point even escaped from mount and reversed the position.
A bloodied and beaten Teixeira was inspected by the doctor after the fourth round, but the fight continued. Somehow Teixeira held on to take the bout to a decision, which Hill won unanimously.
Teixeira then laid his gloves down in the Octagon and announced his retirement. The 43-year-old’s career was an illustrious one, challenging for the light heavyweight crown three times and winning it once. He fought 23 times in the UFC and made his MMA debut in 2002.
Fellow Brazilian and UFC icon Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua also called time on his legendary MMA career. He was defeated by Ihor Potieria via first round TKO but will be remembered for his unrivalled run in Pride Fighting Championship in 2005 and his victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 104 to win the light heavyweight title. He competed in the UFC for 16 years.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno – Co-main event
This was the first rivalry in UFC history to have four fights. Each man held one victory over the other, the first encounter was a thrilling draw.
Like the other fights, this one was fought at a high pace. Figueiredo was looking to catch Moreno with his powerful punches, but Moreno evaded his attacks by circling away from the big right hand.
Moreno landed shots with some slick boxing before taking Figueiredo down and controlling him on the ground. As his confidence grew, he continued to land to the body and head, and Figueiredo found it difficult to get into the fight.
In round three, Moreno threw a nasty left hook to the eye of Figueiredo. The shot cut him open, and his protests about an eye poke were ignored as it was clearly a legal punch.
Moreno then took Figueiredo down once again and dominated him there until the end of the round.
Between rounds three and four, the doctor called a stop to the fight as Figueiredo could no longer see out of his right eye due to swelling, and Brandon Moreno became the UFC flyweight champion for the second time.
After nearly three years, the rivalry is finally over. Figueiredo announced that he will be moving up to bantamweight, but Moreno could face another Brazilian next in Alexandre Pantoja.