For individuals who frequently examine in on MMA web sites, UFC 283 is a serious boon. There isn’t a combat that seems to be misplaced on a PPV foremost card. Even higher, there’s a pair of title fights that has everybody vacillating on who will find yourself strolling out with the gold. The one cause the PPV hasn’t been hyped as a tentpole occasion is not one of the title combat contributors have the popularity that comes with being one of many UFC’s faces. There’s no intention to disrespect Glover Teixeira, Jamahal Hill, Deiveson Figueiredo, or Brandon Moreno, however none of them have damaged by way of. There’s little question the UFC nonetheless has hopes for Hill and Moreno to take action, however neither are there fairly but.
Regardless, each title fights are exceptionally well-matched. We’ve seen Figueiredo and Moreno do the rattling factor – this would be the fourth and last time they collide – however there’s quite a lot of unknown portions between the contemporary matchup that’s Teixeira and Hill.
Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill, Gentle Heavyweight
Glover Teixeira wasn’t the primary UFC champion to carry gold of their 40’s when he upended Jan Blachowicz in direction of the tip of 2021. Nevertheless, he was the primary to have first held gold in his 40’s, Randy Couture and Daniel Cormier successful their first titles whereas nonetheless of their 30’s. Maybe much more spectacular, Teixeira delivered what’s more likely to be his career-defining contest in his unsuccessful protection towards Jiri Prochazka on the age of 42. Teixeira and Prochazka’s back-and-forth contest was an instantaneous traditional, FOTY in 2022 for a lot of publications. That he got here up brief is an afterthought for a lot of.
Sadly, within the midst of how nice that contest was, many have neglected a number of of the teachings that ought to have been taken from the combat. First, there’s little question Teixeira confirmed coronary heart for days within the contest. He absorbed insane quantities of harm from Prochazka, solely to proceed marching ahead. Nevertheless, he finally did faucet to a RNC that wasn’t fully sunk in by Prochazka. Blame that on fatigue, blame that on the cumulative harm, no matter. He finally did faucet… and meaning Hill is aware of he could be damaged. I’m not saying that to be a jerk. I’ve little question no one is extra pissed off by Teixeira tapping than Teixeira. It’s what it’s at this level….
The opposite factor to take out of that contest is the quantity of damage Teixeira absorbed. Take into consideration the decline many fighters have suffered instantly after enduring an epic battle. Rory MacDonald by no means gave the impression to be the identical after his traditional with Robbie Lawler. Lawler had another legendary efficiency after that, however neither he nor Carlos Condit appeared the identical after their battle. Old style followers will keep in mind Don Frye and Ken Shamrock beating the ever-living crap out of one another, solely to by no means be the identical afterwards. Some would level out these are fighters who’ve had extreme miles placed on their physique. Teixeira is 43 years outdated, having made his debut over 20 years in the past. The miles are there. His title win was so surprising due to the miles.
Regardless of that, Teixeira may proceed to shock everybody. Positive, he’s glacially sluggish, however he has been for years. He’s confirmed he is aware of tips on how to work round that. Teixeira nonetheless hits like a truck if he’s capable of land a clear shot. Most significantly, there will not be a extra dominant topside grappler within the historical past of the sunshine heavyweight division. Teixeira is heavy from the highest and technically clear sufficient that it’s troublesome to buck him. Prochazka was ready to take action because of athleticism, years of expertise, and fatigue starting to get the most effective of Teixeira. Hill is a hell of an athlete, however expertise continues to be one thing he’s brief on. His incapability to cease takedowns from Thiago Santos in Hill’s most up-to-date contest gives hope to the savvy Teixeira having the ability to put him on his again.
Nevertheless, in Hill’s favor is youth, velocity, power, and vary. Hill fast ascension has been largely attributable to him being one of the gifted athletes on the roster. A easy watch of his movie would affirm that. The opposite a part of it has been as a result of he’s been mature sufficient to take in what his coaches have been educating him and studying from his errors. Bear in mind him claiming his floor sport was underrated going into his combat with Paul Craig? To Hill’s credit score, he hasn’t even tried to screw round with the bottom sport since Craig taught him a lesson in humility. To Hill’s credit score, he even appeared to develop a friendship with Craig afterwards. Top-of-the-line methods to study to is take classes from those that added an L to 1’s ledger. Hill has been doing simply that.
Those that have both overwhelmed Teixeira or come near beating him during the last a number of years have been among the greatest athletes within the division on the time they clashed. Hill definitely qualifies in that sense. That isn’t to say he’s assured to win. Teixeira might have come up brief towards Prochazka, nevertheless it’s apparent the wheels didn’t come off for him in that contest. That Hill is analogous in his assault to Prochazka needs to be extra encouraging for Teixeira’s possibilities because the defensive deficiencies needs to be one thing Teixeira will expose. That Hill has by no means gone 5 rounds both is one other level in Teixeira’s favor. Regardless of all that, I can’t assist however worry Teixeira’s on the verge of falling off. It isn’t just like the Prochazka combat is the one combat he’s taken quite a lot of harm in. He took a beating by the hands of Anthony Smith previous to flipping that contest on its head. Thiago Santos knocked him down too. Teixeira has already defied the chances by undertaking what he has. However how lengthy can he? Given the vibrance and fearless nature of Hill, I feel he’ll expose the age of Teixeira. Hill through TKO of RD3
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno, Flyweight
Whereas I consider it’s time to maneuver on from the rivalry as soon as this combat is full, it’s price taking a second to understand what Figueiredo and Moreno have been capable of present for combat followers. Whereas educated viewers have lengthy had an appreciation for the standard of motion supplied by the flyweight division, the dominance of Demetrious Johnson prevented a real rivalry from taking maintain. Within the course of, the division developed a stage of stagnation that made the division troublesome to market. The exciting back-and-forth supplied by these two in every of their three contests injected an curiosity within the division that has been sorely lacking. Thus, whereas I’m to see another person within the title image in addition to these two, a stage of appreciation must be supplied to them.
Following the second contest, it appeared like Moreno had Figueiredo’s quantity. The Brazilian couldn’t sustain with the quick tempo of Moreno. Nevertheless, Figueiredo acknowledged the place he was arising brief, rededicated himself to making sure he would have the power to go all 25 minutes. That began with a disciplined weight lower, one thing Figueiredo hasn’t at all times been capable of do. Given how Figueiredo ballooned up following their most up-to-date contest, there have been rumors Figueiredo wouldn’t be capable to make it right down to 125. Nevertheless, all reviews that I’ve learn point out Figueiredo’s weight administration was in a great place for this contest as properly. In different phrases, many had been going to attend to see how Figueiredo appeared coming into the competition. If he appeared unhealthy, it was more likely to be Moreno all the way in which. That doesn’t look like the case.
The opposite subject with Figueiredo has been his willingness to take pointless dangers. Positive, he’s been capable of get away with it at numerous instances in his profession because of his prodigious abilities. Nevertheless, Figueiredo took a extra meat and potatoes method within the third contest. Whereas there’s little question higher conditioning contributed to Figueiredo securing three knockdowns in that combat, Figueiredo sticking to what he does greatest might have been extra vital.
What saved Moreno in that combat was his benefit in exercise. Top-of-the-line conditioned athletes on the roster, Moreno has by no means proven any indicators of fatigue, regardless of going 5 rounds a number of instances over the course of his profession. It isn’t attributable to him pacing himself both. Moreno has at all times fought in a hyperactive method that ensured he would by no means be outpaced. After all, when he was younger, a lot of it was empty motion. As he’s matured, there has change into extra economical with that motion. Mix his maturity and exercise together with his distinctive instincts and Moreno has blossomed into elite fighter he’s in the present day.
One curious development of their three fights has been Moreno transferring away from his wrestling. Not that he’s ever actually been an elite wrestler, however his doggedness and opportunism makes him a risk that may’t be ignored. Maybe he didn’t try as many since Figueiredo was extra aggressive in in search of takedowns, nevertheless it’s a curious stat to notice. Whether or not he appears to be like to re-emphasize that’s onerous to know. Pressured to vary camps after his coach James Krause entangled himself within the betting scandal at present hovering over the game, Fortis MMA hasn’t precisely been a hub for wrestlers. Not that Sayif Saud and crew aren’t able to doing good issues with Moreno, however the chemistry between fighter and coach is vital. Being compelled to have that shaken up may very well be flamable.
There’s additionally the age issue. Moreno was an absolute babe when he first entered the UFC over six years in the past. Simply coming off his twenty ninth birthday, Moreno seems to be in his bodily prime. Within the case of Figueiredo, he’s now 35. I perceive all-time greats push the bounds of Father Time – very similar to Teixeira is – and Figueiredo could be the most freakish athlete the flyweight division has seen. It’s truthful to query if age has caught as much as him. Plus, has Figueiredo maybe gotten too comfy? We didn’t see the most effective model of him till he was motivated to get the belt again.
As at all times, this can be a troublesome combat to foretell, regardless of having seen them do the rattling factor three different instances. A factor or two goes in another way within the final combat and Moreno may have been the winner. Thus, finally, I’m going with whoever has the best potential for slipping. Moreno strolling into Brazil may very well be imposing sufficient to create slippage, however Moreno’s everlasting optimism must be taken into consideration. For Figueiredo, his age and historical past of doing simply sufficient to get by leads me to consider Moreno is extra more likely to win. Anybody throwing cash round this combat will must be exceptionally cautious, so I say that with minimal confidence. Moreno through determination