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‘I had to go and truly earn this title’

Jamahal Hill has many takeaways from his championship win this past Saturday night at UFC 283, but one might stand out above all.

Hill captured the UFC light heavyweight title in dominant fashion by dismantling Glover Teixeira over five rounds in Rio de Janeiro. And in those 25 minutes, many things happened. Hill showed much improvement to his game, became the first fighter from Dana White’s Contender Series to earn UFC gold, and the list goes on.

But something that can’t be left out is that Hill (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) closed out Teixeira’s career as the Brazilian star announced his retirement immediately after the fight. And for Hill, being part of Teixeira’s career was a meaningful moment for him.

“It was an unspeakable honor,” Hill told MMA Junkie on Tuesday. “In Brazil, in his home country, to do that and just everything how it happened, it was just incredible, man. It was a moment. And that’s what the emotion was at the end.

“It was an incredible moment, you know. From just the hostility in the crowd to going in and performing how I wanted to perform, and just how tough the fight itself was with him never going away. Yeah, bro, it was just a mixture of all those things. He didn’t lay down. He didn’t give it to me easy. I had to go and truly earn this title.”

The fight was extremely one-sided in Hill’s favor. He won all five rounds on all three judges’ scorecards and close to stopping Teixeira (33-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) on more than one occasion. Yet, the Brazilian somehow found ways to stay in the fight despite the accumulated damage.

Hill was taken away by Teixeira’s toughness.

“It was a tough fight,” Hill said. “It was a hell of an opponent, legendary, Hall of Famer. The dude’s toughness is understated. He’s not just tough, he was tough, and he was actively doing the right things to try to win the fight. He was still active. He was still throwing. He was still looking to get a dominant position. The entire time, he never once wore the pain of the fight.”


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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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