Jamahal Hill and the Real Winners and Losers from UFC 283
It was a good night to watch pro sports.
From the NFL's divisional-round playoffs to full slates of games in both the NHL and NBA, remote-holders had a plethora of viewing options from which to choose.
Among those choices, too, was a tasty menu of mixed martial arts—South American style.
The UFC took its show to Brazil for the first time since the crowd-less days of the pandemic in 2020 and presented in front of fans there for the first time since 2019, assembling a card with two championship fights at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
UFC 283 was topped by a bout for the vacant light heavyweight title that matched No. 2 contender Glover Teixeira and No. 7 Jamahal Hill and included a co-main for the flyweight championship that brought three-time rivals Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno together for the first quadrilogy in octagonal history.
Each of the night's 15 bouts included at least one Brazilian fighter.
The B/R combat team was on hand from start to finish to take in the action and compile a definitive list of the card's winners and losers.
Scroll through to see what we came up with, and drop a comment with a take of your own.
Winner: An Epic Night
The fight was epic. And brutal. And ghastly.
But even after 25 violent minutes between Hill and Teixeira, things continued to happen.
First, Hill's cool, confident exterior finally cracked as the new champion—by virtue of a wide unanimous decision—sobbed uncontrollably when he realized a life-long dream had been realized.
"From where I came from to get to this, it's unreal," he said. "Anything's possible. Hard work. Dedication. Accountability. Don't let nobody tell you nothing. Too many people said I had to win in one round. I couldn't go five. What the f--k you gotta say now?"
Meanwhile, Teixeira, who was cut on the left eyelid and gashed above the right eyebrow to the point where his blood was splattered across the cage and on the broadcast table, made his own news.
He peeled his gloves off, addressed the crowd in his native Portuguese, and then dropped the gloves in the center of the cage to signify his retirement after 21 years as a pro.
"I felt great. I did everything right," he said. "I think I'm too tough for my own good, too tough for my own health. I can't keep up anymore. It's an honor to put the gloves down the same night as Shogun."
Teixeira was champion for an eight-month stretch from 2021 into 2022 and was determined to regain the vacant belt against a foe who'd never performed on a title level. He was instead consistently outclassed with punches and kicks from the outside and a near-flawless takedown defense.
The Brazilian veteran was frequently rattled with hard kicks to the head and intermittently with punches and had to deal with the aforementioned torrent of blood. Teixeira did get the fight to the floor in the second round and again in the fifth but was never really on the verge of a come-from-behind finish.
Hill won all five rounds on all three scorecards, including one by a two-point margin.
"[The leg kicks] were something that I found on the fly. I wanted to throw different looks and some different things at him," he said. "Dude's as tough as bricks. I don't know anybody who could take what I was throwing. It's an honor to share this cage with him."
Winner: Capturing a Rivalry
After better than 77 minutes in the Octagon, the flyweight rivalry is over.
Already three-time foes, Moreno and Figueiredo met for three more one-sided rounds in their fourth go-round in the co-main—with nearly every moment dominated by Moreno—before Figueiredo was deemed unable to continue by a cage-side physician due to a ghastly injury to his right eye.
Moreno, who'd won the second fight after a draw in the opener and before a loss in the third, was faster and sharper in Saturday's early going, scoring takedowns and controlling the action in Rounds 1 and 2. It was more of the same in the third when the thumb-side of a closed left fist caught Figueiredo squarely on the eye, prompting him to protest while recoiling in pain.
Referee Herb Dean did not intervene, and replays showed the blow and a follow-up right hand to have been legal, though Figueiredo's eye immediately began swelling.
Blood leaked from a cut below the eye as he sat on his stool between rounds, and the eye was closed to the point where he couldn't pass a subsequent vision test as the physician intervened.
The win made Moreno a two-time champion at flyweight and was the first time in their four fights that a pre-fight betting favorite won. The nine fights he's won at 125 pounds are tied for fourth in UFC history, one behind Figueiredo, who announced afterward that he'd move up to bantamweight.
The crowd booed loudly during Moreno's post-fight interview, and he was whisked off the arena floor by his corner team as beer cans and other liquids rained down.
"This, for me, is very hard, to hear the fans," he said. "The people need to understand I'm just a guy who's trying to get food for his family."
Figueiredo, who fell to 10-3-1 in the UFC, was finished for the second time in his career. Both instances came via Moreno, who'd choked him into a tapout at UFC 263 in June 2021.
"It was Brandon's night. I thought it was an eye poke, but there's not much I can say," he said. "I'm tired of making this weight. That's why I'm moving up."
Winner: Regaining Welterweight Mojo
Gilbert Burns wasn't trending well.
He'd been blasted out less than halfway through a title shot against Kamaru Usman in 2021 and was beaten down across three full rounds by Khamzat Chimaev two fights later last April.
Still, there's a difference between losing to those foes and being over the hill.
The 36-year-old Brazilian, still ranked fifth at welterweight, showed he may again be ready for the top-enders at 170 pounds with a dominant first-round submission of No. 12 contender Neil Magny.
"This is Brazil," he said. "There's no other way.
"For everyone running from me, I am coming. I'll be the champ."
Though on the short end against Magny in both height and reach, Burns made a statement early on when he tagged his foe with a long right hand and immediately dove in for a body-lock takedown around Magny's waist that got the fight to the floor at 1:45.
He was in side control a minute later and got into a decisive top mount soon after, isolating Magny's right arm and locking in the triangle choke that eventually drew a tapout at 4:15 of the first.
It was the 14th win and fifth submission in 19 UFC fights for a reenergized Burns, who immediately called for a big name in the aftermath.
"These guys aren't at my level. I'm gonna submit everybody. I'm gonna get everybody," he said. "Colby Covington (ranked three slots above him at No. 2), I'm coming for you."
Winner: Slaying a Giant
Size matters a lot. But speed matters more.
Ex-champion Jessica Andrade was four inches shorter than flyweight opponent Lauren Murphy in the second fight of Saturday's pay-per-view portion, but the 5'1" Brazilian was levels beyond her foe when it came to the frequency and severity of her strikes on the way to her 15th UFC victory.
A title-holder at strawweight for three months in 2019, Andrade won for the fourth time in six subsequent fights since the start of 2020 and perhaps positioned herself for another championship run after she'd arrived to the cage ranked fourth at 115 pounds and sixth at 125.
The outcome was never in doubt against Murphy, herself a failed title challenger at flyweight, whose legs were battered early and whose face was brutally reduced to a bloody, lumpy mess across 15 minutes while the ESPN broadcast crew called loudly for referee Osiris Maia to stop the fight.
He never did, though, and Andrade instead got gargantuan five-point scorecard margins from two judges and a four-point advantage from the third after landing 231 significant strikes, including 161 to the head and 47 via leg kicks.
"You just have to wonder what [the Murphy corner's] methodology was in the late rounds," blow-by-blow man Jon Anik said. "It's hard to watch that level of punishment across 15 minutes.
"It's not good when all you're doing is lauding someone's toughness."
Winner: Perfecting (ish) the Celly
Say what you will about Johnny Walker's celebration chops.
Watching a 6'6", 205-pound man writhing across the canvas doing the worm may not be for everyone.
But when it comes to fighting, the guy's undeniably good. And undeniably on a roll.
The 30-year-old has responded to an inglorious 1-4 stretch with a pair of impressive victories, this time stopping rugged Scotsman Paul Craig in less than half a round with a series of unorthodox strikes.
"[The Brazilian crowd] gave me all this energy, I put it my hands, and that was it," Walker said. "I'm a guy that can generate power from any place. I don't need any space."
Indeed, the decisive sequence came shortly after Craig caught Walker's leg following an early kick attempt. But instead of falling to the floor or otherwise trying to wriggle free, Walker landed a first right hand that wobbled Craig and a second that finally dislodged his grip and sent him to the floor.
From there, six straight backhand fists to the head prompted a stop from Marc Goddard at 2:16.
The win will surely prompt a rise to the Top 10 at 205 for Walker, who arrived as the 12th-ranked contender in the weight class to Craig's ninth-place standing.
"I don't give a f--k [who comes next]. This is my division now," Walker told analyst Daniel Cormier, a former claimant at both light heavyweight and heavyweight. "I want to be like Cormier. I want to be champ-champ. I want to have two belts."
Winner: Carrying the Home Flag
The Bonfim brothers are as close as they come.
They live together. They train together. And the UFC's return to their native Brazil provided a unique chance for them to make their official octagonal debuts on the same card.
To say they delivered would be a bonus-worthy understatement.
Older sibling Ismael (27) and his younger running mate Gabriel (25) were the undisputed stars of the show's lower-profile portion, registering the night's most-viral highlight and its quickest finish with memorable victories at lightweight and welterweight, respectively.
"The Bonfim brothers are here to become champs, one at lightweight, one at welterweight," Gabriel said. "We're here to make history."
Ismael delivered an early KO of the Year frontrunner in the night's fourth fight, leaping in with a left knee that landed on the right side of Terrance McKinney's jaw and sent him toppling face-first to the floor at 2:17 of the second round.
"That's one of the greatest KOs you will see," analyst Paul Felder said as the camera cut to Gabriel's gleeful locker room reaction. "And it's one of the best UFC debuts I have ever seen."
The younger Bonfim had his own spotlight turn three fights later, eluding a wild right hand from veteran foe Mounir Lazzez before stepping in to seize his neck and dropping to the floor to lock in the mounted guillotine that yielded a stoppage after just 49 seconds.
Asked whether the home crowd fueled him, he answered predictably.
"When I was walking out, and I heard my song, and I saw all these people that were here," he said, "I just felt honored."
Fellow Brazilian newcomer Brunno Ferreira debuted with his own highlight finish, dumping countryman Gregory Rodrigues with a single left hook for another KO at 4:13 of the first.
All 15 bouts included at least one Brazilian fighter, and those Brazilians won seven of 13 fights in which they were matched against a non-domestic opponent. Meanwhile, Ferreira and Thiago Moises (against Melquizael Costa) were winners in fights between local foes.
"It's amazing being here," Ferreira said. "It's awesome."
Winner: Backing the Prelim Favorites
Some fighters cringe at the pressure of being a significant favorite.
Jailton Almeida is clearly not one of them.
The imposing Brazilian arrived as the widest selection of pre-fight oddsmakers at DraftKings—thanks to a -975 betting label alongside his name—but showed zero hesitation in legitimizing forecasts with a comprehensively one-sided wipeout of Shamil Abdurakhimov.
Already a winner of 12 straight fights, including three in the UFC, Almeida extended both streaks while staking his claim to what'll certainly be a spot in the Top 15.
Abdurakhimov was ranked 15th at heavyweight at the opening glove tap but soon found himself on the mat as his lighter, younger foe immediately sought takedowns. The action stayed horizontal for much of the first round and got there again to begin the second as Almeida continued to pound his slower, tiring opponent with punishing ground strikes.
A series of unfettered shots to a prone Abdurakhimov prompted the official TKO finish at 2:56 of the second, boosting Almeida to 18-2 as a pro with 18 finishes and intensifying the buzz that followed the 31-year-old since his professional debut in 2012.
"A lot of people believe if there's any fighter on this roster than can join [Daniel Cormier] and Randy Couture as light heavyweight and heavyweight champions," Anik said, "it's Jailton Almeida."
No other fighter on the non-PPV show was chalkier than Almeida but several still produced in their roles as favorites, including featherweight Josiane Nunes (-540), bantamweight Cody Stamann (-380), lightweight Thiago Moises (-380), light heavyweight Ihor Potieria (-205) and welterweights Gabriel Bonfim (-170) and Nicolas Dalby (-105).
Bettors throwing $100 on favorites in each of the first 10 fights would have generated a $120 profit, while those backing all 10 underdogs would have cashed on upsets by middleweight Brunno Ferreira (+250), bantamweight Daniel Marcos (+130) and lightweight Ismael Bonfim (+110) but sustained an overall $210 loss.
Loser: Shogun Says Goodbye
It wasn't the finish that anyone wanted.
In fact, even Ihor Potieria intermittently seemed reluctant.
But the Ukrainian came to end Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's MMA swansong with a loss, and he did so, wobbling the 41-year-old veteran with a right hook to start a decisive sequence that ultimately ended things at 4:05 of the first round.
Potieria instantly celebrated his win with an impromptu dance routine that ended with a point in the prone Rua's direction, but he eventually settled down enough to recognize the gravity of the moment and eventually knelt before his opponent while shaking his hand.
It was the 42nd and final fight of Rua's pro career that began in 2002—when Potieria was six years old—and the 24th in a successful UFC run that started in 2007, when Potieria was 11.
The Brazilian was the company's light heavyweight champion across 2010 and 2011 after a glorious stretch in the PRIDE promotion that preceded the UFC's rise.
He soldiered on for 18 more fights after losing his title to Jon Jones at UFC 128, and Saturday's result actually plunged him below .500 to 11-12-1 in the Octagon.
But it didn't matter to a home crowd that still gave a standing post-fight ovation.
"There may be athletes on this UFC roster who are as revered," Anik said, "but I'm not sure there's anyone more revered than Shogun Rua."
Rua exited with losses in his last three fights and hadn't tasted a victory since defeating Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by split decision on a Fight Night show in July 2020.
He's one of six fighters on the roster whose pro debut came in 2002 or earlier.
"I wanted to end my career with a win, but I'm gonna stop it right here," Rua said. "I have to thank my friends and everyone here at the UFC."
Full Card Results
Jamahal Hill def. Glover Teixeira by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)
Brandon Moreno def. Deiveson Figueiredo by TKO (doctor's stoppage), 5:00, Round 3
Gilbert Burns def. Neil Magny by submission (arm triangle), 4:15, Round 1
Jessica Andrade def. Lauren Murphy by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Johnny Walker def. Paul Craig by TKO (punches), 2:16, Round 1
Ihor Potieria def. Mauricio Rua by TKO (punches), 4:05, Round 1
Brunno Ferreira def. Gregory Rodrigues by KO (punch), 4:13, Round 1
Thiago Moises def. Melquizael Costa by submission (rear-naked choke), 4:05, Round 2
Gabriel Bonfim def. Mounir Lazzez by submission (guillotine choke), 0:49, Round 1
Early Preliminary Card
Jailton Almeida def. Shamil Abdurakhimov by TKO (punches), 2:56, Round 2
Cody Stamann def. Luan Lacerda by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ismael Bonfim def. Terrance McKinney by KO (knee), 2:17, Round 2
Nicolas Dalby def. Warlley Alves by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Josiane Nunes def. Zarah Fairn by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Daniel Marcos def. Saimon Oliveira by KO (knees), 2:18, Round 2