Saturday night’s UFC 283 (main card 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT, ESPN+ pay-per-view) is a noteworthy card for several reasons. First and foremost, the event marks the UFC’s first trip to Brazil since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
A planned UFC Fight Night went ahead as scheduled in Brasilia on March 14, 2020, but was closed to the public as a precautionary measure against the virus, having been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization three days beforehand. This weekend"s show is the first event from MMA"s top promotion to take place in Brazil in front of a live audience since November 2019.
Secondly, the card is the first pay-per-view event from the UFC in 2023, and it comes with a new price structure. Effective with Saturday night"s show, UFC pay-per-view events will now be valued at $79.99 (USD.) A year ago, at this time, ESPN+ raised the cost of a pay-per-view to $74.99.
The promotion couldn"t have picked a better way to start the new year on PPV with a championship doubleheader to close out the show. After the UFC Flyweight Championship is awarded in the UFC 283 co-main event, a new champion at 205 lbs. will be crowned in the UFC 283 main event.
Vacant Light Heavyweight Championship On the Line in UFC 283 Main Event
No, 2 contender Glover Teixeira (33-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC) will meet No. 7 contender Jamahal Hill (11-1, 1 NC MMA, 5-1, 1 NC UFC) for the right to become the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. As with all championship fights, the UFC 283 main event will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
If Hill wins, he will become the 16th different man (counting interim reigns) to hold the belt at 205 lbs. in UFC history. Should Teixeira win, however, it"ll be the start of his second reign as a titleholder, having first won the title in October of 2021 at UFC 267.
Two-Month Vacancy at Light Heavyweight Ends Saturday
The strap will have been vacant for 58 days by the time the cage door locks on Saturday night. Now-former champion Jiri Prochazka (29-3-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) was slated to fight Teixeira in a rematch last month, but he surrendered the belt due to a shoulder injury.
After that announcement, Jan Blachowicz (29-9-1 MMA, 12-6-1 UFC) and Magomed Ankalaev were booked to fight for the championship in the new UFC 282 main event, with that contest ending in a draw. Thus, the resolution will be televised on Saturday.
UFC 283 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the UFC 283 main event this weekend, Jamahal Hill stands as the taller man at 6-foot-4, compared to the 6-foot-2 frame of Glover Teixeira. Hill also owns a three-inch reach (79 inches to 76 inches) and a one-inch leg reach (43 1/2 inches to 42 1/2 inches) over Teixeira.
As it stands currently, the oddsmakers have Jamahal Hill installed as a -135 favorite, with Glover Teixeira as a +115 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Glover Teixeira Lucky to Fight For Championship in UFC 283 Main Event
Glover Teixeira enters Saturday night"s headliner having posted a record of 4-1 in his last five fights and most recently saw his two-fight winning streak snapped on June 11 against the aforementioned Jiri Prochazka during the UFC 275 main event. As previously mentioned, Teixeira and Prochazka were slated to fight again in December before the latter was forced to withdraw.
The first fight between the two was marred in controversy since Prochazka never appeared to officially tap out.
After Prochazka was forced to withdraw from UFC 282 and the events that followed last month, Teixeira considered himself fortunate to get another shot at gold. More importantly, the UFC 283 main event is a home game for him.
“Everybody asks me if I got mad," Teixeira said in a December interview with John Morgan. “Of course, I got upset on the day that I found out I"m not going to fight for the title, but I said ‘I"m not going to let this bother me. Let"s live life. I"m healthy, I"m happy, life is great. I"m fighting for the belt [against] one of the winners." Because that"s the thing, I deserve to be here."
Come Saturday night, he"ll have a chance to get the title he lost back. Can he score the victory in front of his home crowd? Watch and find out.
Jamahal Hill Will Make UFC History With Win
In the other corner, Jamahal Hill enters the UFC 283 main event having posted a record of 4-1 himself over his last five fights. Currently, he"s on a three-fight winning streak, with all three of those wins having been recorded by knockout.
Back on Aug. 6, he took Thiago Santos (22-11 MMA, 14-10 UFC) to the fourth round of the UFC Vegas 59 main event before scoring the knockout with ground and pound shots. A 2019 alum of Dana White"s Contender Series, Hill finds himself in a position to make history in the UFC 283 main event.
He"d become the first product of Contender Series to win a UFC championship should he emerge victorious on Saturday. Can he keep his knockout streak going? Only time will tell.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the UFC 283 main event looks to favor Glover Teixeira, who owns a 7th-degree Hawaiian Kempo black belt, a 5th-degree black belt in Kajukenbo, a 2nd-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and a black belt in Vale Tudo fighting, compared to Jamahal Hill"s blue belt in BJJ.
Look For Glover Teixeira To Pour it On With Punches
Even though he"s known as a fighter who can take his opponents to the mat, Glover Teixeira has also proven that he can punch his way to victory. Rashad Evans found this out the hard way nearly seven years ago.
During the first round of five, Teixeira landed a few punches before finding himself in the clinch. About a minute into the period, he scored with a left-handed shot, followed up by a right. Evans tried to slow the fight down by returning to the clinch, only for Teixeira to move out of it.
The latter pieced up the former with a leg kick, stalking him until he landed a two-punch combination against the cage fence before scoring a third punch to floor him. Herb Dean quickly waved off the fight in a minute and 46 seconds.
If Teixeira can land combinations with regularity, the UFC 283 main event will be his and he can start his second reign as champion. However, the big punches are also part of Jamahal Hill"s game plan.
Jamahal Hill Can End a Fight Quickly
In the other corner, Jamahal Hill has been known to have one-punch power. Jimmy Crute was on the receiving end of this in December of 2021. Right from the command to fight, Crute threw some feints in an attempt to knock Hill off of his game plan.
It wouldn"t work, however, as Hill would come right back to land a right hook to knock Crute down. Wobbled, Crute would put Hill in the clinch, only for the latter to score a knee to the former"s body.
From there, it was all over but the shouting, with Hill landing a second right hook to knock Crute down and out. Mark Smith ended the fight right then and there.
If Jamahal Hill can land the hook on the money, the fight will be over before you can get a drink from the fridge.
If the co-main event wasn"t exciting enough, the UFC 283 main event could be just as incredible. You"ll have a fighter in his career twilight trying to become a light heavyweight champion for the second time against an opponent who wants to become the first Contender Series alum to win a UFC title.
This is a fight worth staying up for. You can sleep in on Sunday.
Prediction: Jamahal Hill by First-Round TKO.
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images