UFC legend retires after brutal title fight defeat
Brazilian legend Glover Teixeira said he was “too tough for his own good” after fighting on despite taking significant damage during his light heavyweight title bout against Jamahal Hill at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night.
Heavily cut and with a particularly nasty gash above his eye sending blood streaming across his face, Teixeira nonetheless finished the five rounds of the main event for the vacant 205lbs title against Hill before losing a unanimous decision 50-44 on all three scorecards.
As Hill broke down in tears at the realization that he was the new UFC light heavyweight champion, Teixeira lay down his gloves on the Octagon floor as the 43-year-old signaled the end of his career.
“In reality, I think I’m too tough for my own good. Too tough for my own health. I can’t keep up anymore,” said Teixeira, who was bidding to recapture the title he won in shock circumstances against Jan Blachowicz in October 2021 before losing it to Jiri Prochazka the following year.
“I’m going to focus my energy on [helping Brazilian middleweight champion] Alex Pereira. He’s going to keep his belt for a while and then go up to light heavyweight,” added Teixeira to the crowd at Jeunesse Arena.
The Brazilian retires after a two-decade professional MMA career in which he has amassed a 33-9 record, including 16 victories in 23 UFC outings.
Hill, 31, was emotional at claiming what many had perhaps considered to be an unlikely light heavyweight title for the Chicago fighter.
His performance at nullifying the dangerous grappling threat from Teixeira was impressive – not least as the fight was something of a short-notice affair which was called after the title contest between Russia’s Magomed Ankalaev and Blachowicz failed to produce a winner in December.
“Where I came from to get to this, it’s unreal. Anything’s possible. Hard work, dedication, accountability, don’t let nobody tell you nothing,” said Hill.
“Too many people tried to tell me I couldn’t do it. It was impossible. I needed to win in one round. I couldn’t go five [rounds] – what the f**k you got to say now?”
The UFC light heavyweight elite appears to be open, however, with Ankalaev still aggrieved at his controversial draw against Blachowicz last month and Czech former champion Prochazka – who was forced to vacate the title in November due to a serious shoulder injury – stepping up his recovery.
Also at UFC 283 in Brazil on Saturday night, the co-main event for the flyweight title saw Mexico’s Brandon Moreno dethrone local hero Deiveson Figueiredo in a fourth fight between the pair.
The contest was ended with a doctor’s stoppage after the third round, with Figueiredo’s right eye completely swollen shut. After the two rivals paid tribute to each other inside the Octagon, Moreno was forced to leave the cage shielded by security staff as he was pelted by beer and other drinks by the angry crowd.