In July 2018, Glover Teixeira was soundly beaten by Corey Anderson for a 30-27 loss. The Brazilian veteran was fast approaching his 40th birthday and he had now lost three of his last five fights. No one would have given him anything but respect if “Hands of Stone” had gone then, 16 years into his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
At this point, does anyone have any idea how long the chances of Teixeira becoming champions last? They are simply incalculable. All the pieces had to fall into place perfectly, from Jon Jones dropping out of the division to Anderson diving into Bellator. Meanwhile, Teixeira had to actually win the fights, winning five fights consecutively against five younger opponents just to get a second title opportunity.
He was knocked out three times in those wins.
That’s what made his final victory over Jan Blachowicz so incredible. The cosmic dominoes aligned and the fighting world recognized the miraculous nature of a newly crowned 42-year-old champion. It was a huge! Everyone watching recognized that all of Teixeira’s hard work and resilience combined perfectly with factors beyond her control to create an incredible moment.
Reality set in a bit when Teixeira’s body dropped him in the fifth round of his war against Jiri Prochazka. Fans judged his guillotine attempt harshly, but is it really so shocking that an athletic opponent a decade younger could capitalize better in the 24th minute of a war of attrition?
Circumstances gave Teixeira one last chance, a chance against a new opponent, Jamahal Hill, no less. On paper, there were plenty of areas where Teixeira could win the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 283 last night (January 21, 2023) in Rio de Janeiro. It was perfectly reasonable to hope that the dominoes were still aligned, that a second miracle might occur on an equally joyful occasion.
Unfortunately, no one told Hill.
He seemed really determined to knock Teixeira around the cage, and he pretty much did that from the first bell. It was a great performance, but it was also one that quickly became uncomfortable.
This fight didn’t need to go past the fourth round. Teixeira repeatedly tried to wipe the blood from both eyes without success. There was a distinct moment when Hill didn’t seem to land something quite so devastating – especially compared to all the huge shots in the previous three rounds – but Teixeira still wobbled back. He was no longer stable on his feet and no longer reacted well to shots, leaning on the cage to find his bearings.
Realistically, he wasn’t defending himself intelligently anymore.
The referee could have stopped the content, and the corner certainly should have. Instead, Teixeira came out for the fifth, and although he scored a surprise out, his inability to follow the scrambles was a clear demonstration that Teixeira was operating on autopilot.
There would be no second miracle.
To complete UFC 283: Results “Hill vs. Teixeira” and play-by-play, click on HERE.
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