Jamahal Hill batters Glover Teixeira in Brazil

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best fights from January 2023: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s Fight of the Month award for January.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.


Nominee: Roman Kopylov def. Punahele Soriano at UFC Fight Night 217

[autotag]Roman Kopylov[/autotag] (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) turned in a phenomenal performance on the final fight of his current UFC contract when he halted the heavy-hitting [autotag]Punahele Soriano[/autotag] (9-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC).

After hurting his opponent, Kopylov sensed the finish was near in the middleweight bout, and continued to look for his chance to go to the body again. Soriano didn’t go out without putting up a fight, though. But after another hard kick to the body landed for Kopylov, the fight was all but over as he folded over in pain. Kopylov unleashed punches until the referee stopped the fight.

Nominee: Dan Ige def. Damon Jackson at UFC Fight Night 217

[autotag]Dan Ige[/autotag] (16-6 MMA, 8-5 UFC) snapped his three-fight losing skid in highlight-reel fashion when he put [autotag]Damon Jackson[/autotag] (22-5-1 MMA, 5-3-1 UFC) down.

Ige got back on the winning track when a big left hand landed on the chin of Jackson which led to a walk-off finish in the second round of their featherweight clash.

Nominee: Jamahal Hill def. Glover Teixeira at UFC 283

The UFC light heavyweight division finally has a new champion after [autotag]Jamahal Hill[/autotag] (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) defeated [autotag]Glover Teixeira[/autotag] (33-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) with a record-setting performance.

Hill claimed the vacant 205-pound strap when he earned a unanimous decision win in a bout where he landed a divisional record 231 significant strikes. After the bloody fight, Teixeira retired from MMA competition in front of his fans in his native Brazil.

The winner

The winner: Hill vs. Teixeira

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The UFC 283 main event resulted in one fighter reaching the pinnacle of the sport, while another rode off into the sunset.

Many pundits wondered how Hill would do when faced with the grappling challenges of Teixeira. The tone was set early when Hill shut down numerous takedown attempts by Teixeira. The first round was largely contested at distance with an occasional (failed) Teixeira attempt to drag it down.

In Round 2, the pace picked up as defense largely went by the wayside. In a round that wouldn’t have looked out of place if aligned with his five thrilling rounds against Jiri Prochazka in June, Teixeira found himself in trouble due to a Hill head kick.

Hill sensed Teixeira’s instability and pounced with dozens of punches. Teixeira kept Hill at bay, but absorbed some damage in the process. Somehow, someway, Teixeira got Hill down and landed ground-and-pound before the round ended.

In Round 3, Hill turned up the volume. He battered Teixeira with a barrage of punches as the bout appeared to be close to a stoppage at multiple points. Hill went back to the head kick again and found success but Teixeira hung tough.

Into the championship rounds, Teixeira was mangled with nasty cuts over both eyes. He absorbed more and more strikes as the round progressed – so many strikes, in fact, that there was debate in the corner about throwing in the towel.

Ultimately, the corners and physicians decided to let the fight go on, to which Teixeira exclaimed, “Let’s go, baby. F*cking A.”

Teixeira came out aggressive, straight at Hill. In the opening minute, he took Hill down and ended up in mount. Hill scrambled and ended up on top – a crucial reversal. With one minute left, Texeira escaped to his feet. As the clock ticked, Hill avoided unnecessary exchanges en route to the final bell.

Moments after the title was wrapped around an emotional Hill’s waist, Teixeira took off his gloves and placed them in the center of the cage – as he announced his retirement.

“I’m too tough for my own good,” Teixeira said. “I’m too tough for my own health,” as he explained why he’d prefer to turn his attention to coaching at this point in his life.

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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