The real winners and losers from UFC 283
With UFC 283, the UFC returned to Brazil for the first time in nearly two years. The event, which took place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, was the first UFC card in Brazil where a crowd was in attendance since UFC 237 in May 2019. The fans in attendance endured highs and lows throughout the 15-fight event.
Fans hoping to close the prelims on a high note for the legendary Mauricio “Shogun” Rua were left heartbroken as he ended his career with a first-round TKO loss to Ihor Potieria. However, the fans in attendance had their spirits lifted by the first three fights on the main card as Brazilian fighters Johnny Walker, Jessica Andrade and Gilbert Burns scored dominant victories.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian fans, the event ended on a down note as both Deiveson Figueiredo and Glover Teixeira left the arena without UFC gold. Still, UFC 283 featured impressive promotional debuts from young Brazilian fighters Ismael and Gabriel Bonfim, who scored first-round stoppage victories.
As for non-Brazilian competitors, Jamahal Hill and Brandon Moreno scored monumental wins as Hill captured the UFC light heavyweight crown and Moreno regained the promotion’s flyweight title.
Read on for a complete list of winners and losers from UFC 283.
Jamahal Hill: The UFC light heavyweight division has a new champion in Jamahal Hill. The 31-year-old, who made his UFC debut off the Dana White Contender Series in 2020, showed some new wrinkles to his game while putting a beating on the former light heavyweight kingpin, Glover Teixeira.
Hill’s takedown defense was an impressive 89 percent in this fight. He managed range effectively, especially with his jabs. His activity was jaw-dropping for a light heavyweight, attempting 402 significant strikes and landing 232. His defense was on point, especially as Teixeira tired and his punches began to slow. However, the most impressive aspect of Hill’s game in winning the 205-pound UFC title were his kicks, both to the body and head of his opponent.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say he is the undisputed champion because, after all, the title became available when Jiri Prochazka surrendered it following a shoulder injury he is rehabbing. Still, Hill left no doubt as to who the better fighter was between himself and Teixeira and right now, that’s the only thing that matters.
Laid it all on the line!
— UFC (@ufc) January 22, 2023
Alex Pereira: With Glover Teixeira retiring following his loss to Jamahal Hill, UFC middleweight champ Alex Pereira will now have Teixeira as a full-time coach. That’s a positive development for Pereira, who Teixeira feels could one day become a two-division champion if he moves up to 205 pounds.
Glover Teixeira: Following his retirement announcement, Teixeira implored the Brazilian crowd to show Hill some respect as he left the octagon. The former champ said, via an interpreter, “I saw you guys were throwing popcorn and drinks at the last champion (Brandon Moreno). I want you to respect him (Hill). He’s going to walk back with me. He’s the champion.
Teixeira will be missed.
This is why we love Glover Teixeira
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) January 22, 2023
Brandon Moreno: Brandon Moreno looked excellent in defeating Deiveson Figueiredo. His striking was much more effective, powerful and accurate and his patience, when caught in two guillotines, was superb.
Moreno and Figueiredo have brought out the best in each other over the past few years. The time they spent together inside the octagon should serve them both well going forward.
Gilbert Burns: Ahead of UFC 283, Gilbert Burns said he was “frustrated” after the UFC matchmakers booked him opposite Neil Magny. That had nothing to do with the quality of Magny as an opponent, but Burns, who entered Saturday as the No. 5 fighter in the official UFC welterweight rankings, wanted a “big” fight.
The former welterweight title challenger deserves that big matchup after his first-round submission win over Magny. If the UFC matchmakers were listening, Burns had a suggestion as to who his adversary should be in that next matchup — the No. 2 ranked Colby Covington.
Jessica Andrade: Jessica Andrade put on a striking clinic against Lauren Murphy. The fight was a one-sided beatdown. However, I’m not sure a win at flyweight will get Andrade her requested strawweight title matchup, but you never know.
Johnny Walker: I’m not sure if the old aggressive Johnny Walker is back, but he has two straight first-round finishes to his name following a knockout of Paul Craig in the opening fight of the UFC 283 pay-per-view card.
Walker did an excellent job capitalizing on the mistake Craig made by hanging onto Walker’s leg while still in striking range. Walker was the No. 12 fighter in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings ahead of Saturday’s fight card, while Craig was No. 9. Walker is very likely to earn himself the opportunity to face a higher-ranked opponent in his next outing.
Ihor Potieria: Ihor Potieria did not have an enviable job at UFC 283. He faced a Brazilian legend in Mauricio Rua in Brazil in Rua’s final career fight. Despite being in hostile territory and coming off a knockout loss in his UFC debut, the 26-year-old Potieria picked up his first UFC win with a knockout victory over Rua.
Brunno Ferreira: UFC 283 was supposed to be the event where Gregory Rodrigues got a test against a veteran opponent. Instead, Rodrigues faced the debuting Brunno Ferreira, who stepped in to replace Brad Taveres on short notice. Ferreira scored a highlight reel knockout over Rodrigues in the second round of their middleweight bout.
The 30-year-old Brazilian set up the finishing blow well, delivering a powerful left that put Rodrigues down and out. The victory moved Ferreira’s pro record to 10-0 with eight first-round finishes.
The UFC provided Ferreira an opportunity to shine. He took advantage of that.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2023
Thiago Moises: Thiago Moises, a member of the UFC roster since 2018, picked up a second straight submission win with the promotion when he stopped late replacement opponent, Melquizael Costa.
Moises was the much better fighter in this lightweight matchup, but what stood out about the Brazilian’s performance was his patience and veteran savvy.
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) January 22, 2023
Gabriel Bonfim: Gabriel Bonfim had much to live up to after his brother, Ismael Bonfim, delivered an early knockout of the year candidate on the early prelims. The former LFA welterweight champion ran through Mounir Lazzez at UFC 283. The 25-year-old Brazilian was aggressive in his striking, which forced Lazzez to shoot a takedown. That led to Bonfim locking up a fight-ending guillotine choke. The fight ended 49 seconds into the first round. With the win, Bonfim moved to 14-0.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 22, 2023
Jailton Almeida: After his win at UFC 279, I said Jailton Almeida needed a test. The UFC matchmakers gave him that — at least on paper — by matching him against a ranked opponent at UFC 283. However, the No. 15 UFC heavyweight, Shamil Abdurakhimov proved to be easy work for the 31-year-old Brazilian.
Almeida again showed his patience and skills in picking up his fourth straight UFC finish. Almeida is not a large heavyweight, but he has the skills, strength and technique to easily overwhelm his opponents. If I’m the UFC matchmakers, Almeida’s next fight will be against a top-10 heavyweight and it won’t be on the prelims.
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) January 22, 2023
Ismael Bonfim: Ismael Bonfim had a fantastic UFC debut on Saturday, face-planting Terrance McKinney in the second round with a perfectly timed and immaculately placed flying double knee. Bonfim might have been overlooked heading into UFC 283, but that won’t happen again.
Before he landed the nasty knockout, Bonfim showed incredible confidence, excellent counters and impressive fight IQ. Keep an eye on this 27-year-old Brazilian.
Nicolas Dalby: Nicolas Dalby, the former Cage Warriors welterweight champion, picked up his first winning streak in the UFC with a win over Warlley Alves at UFC 283. Dalby, who went 1-3-1 in his first stint with the UFC in 2015-16. Dalby rejoined the promotion in 2019. He was 3-1-0-1 heading into Saturday’s fight.
Josiane Nunes: Josiane Nunes moved to 3-0 in the UFC women’s featherweight division with a decision win over Zarah Fairn. With the weight division being very shallow, that might earn her a shot against the UFC’s women’s 145-pound division, Amanda Nunes and while that will hopefully earn her a good payday, I’m not looking forward to how that fight might play out.
Daniel Marcos: Daniel Marcos made his UFC debut at UFC 283 and the 29-year-old from Peru looked good. Marcos didn’t start his fight opposite Saimon Oliveira particularly fast, but he upped his pace as the bout wore on. By the time the second round rolled around, Marcos had taken control of the fight. He upped his pace, mixed up his techniques and showed good finishing instincts in picking up the knockout that moved his overall record to 13-0.
With his good striking defense early and his ability to up his aggression when he sees his opponent begins to fade, Marcos could cause problems for his future foes.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 21, 2023
Glover Teixeira: Glover Teixeira fought for the UFC title in 2014. He lost to then-champion Jon Jones. Over seven years later, Teixeira got a second crack at UFC light heavyweight gold. He won the belt by submitting Jan Blachowicz. However, Teixeira dropped the title in his first defense, losing to Jiri Prochazka. The 43-year-old Brazilian had a chance to get the title back at UFC 283, but he failed to do so. The former champ showed a lot of heart and toughness in going five rounds, but his effort was for naught, much to the chagrin of many fight fans.
Jon Anik: After the main event fighters gave their in-cage interviews, Jon Anik referred to Jamahal Hill and Glover Teixeira as “two of the classiest individuals on this roster, top to bottom.”
That claim is a stretch when it comes to Hill, who vociferously defended UFC president Dana White on social media after White offered no defense for slapping his wife on New Year’s Eve.
Daniel Cormier: In the fifth round of the main event, Cormier said Jamahal Hill answered all the questions that had arisen about him. To me, that was Cormier getting caught up in the moment. Hill fought very well. He showed more in this fight than we had seen from him in the past, but Magomed Ankalaev and Jiri Prochazka are not 43-year-old Glover Teixeira. To be blunt, we all need to see more of Hill before we can claim he answered all the questions about his upside.
Glover Teixeira’s corner: According to UFC commentator Jon Anik, Glover Teixeira’s coach, John Hackleman, wanted to stop the main event before the start of the fifth round. However, Hackleman, who was outside the octagon and not one of the main corners for Teixeira, did not get his wish. Like the Lauren Murphy fight before this one, the right move would have been to end the fight early.
Deiveson Figueiredo: Deiveson Figueiredo’s lack of striking output and his inability to do damage when he did connect with his attempts, had him behind on the scorecards before Brandon Moreno closed his right eye with a punch in the third round.
On a positive note, Figueiredo said he is going to move up to bantamweight for his next fight. That’s the right move for the 35-year-old former champion.
Lauren Murphy’s corner: Lauren Murphy didn’t hurt Jessica Andrade during the first 10 minutes of their fight. What gave her corner the idea that she could score a stoppage in the third stanza is beyond me. Instead, Murphy’s corner allowed her to take five minutes of unnecessary damage.
Paul Craig: In hindsight, Paul Craig will likely regret his decision to hang onto Johnny Walker’s leg as Walker landed shot after shot to Craig’s head.
Mauricio Rua: Former UFC light heavyweight champion and PRIDE Grand Prix champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua entered UFC 283 as an underdog to Ihor Potieria, who came into the event coming off a TKO loss to Nicolae Negumereanu in his UFC debut.
Rua came out looking to end the fight via strikes, but he did not get the fairytale ending to his MMA career in Brazil. Instead, the 41-year-old Rua went 0-3 in his last three UFC fights, with two knockout defeats.
The UFC might give MMA legends like Rua a video package and an in-cage interview for their last fight, but the promotion tends to use fighters like Rua to build the careers of younger competitors. That’s what we saw on Saturday night.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 22, 2023
Gregory Rodrigues: A heavy favorite against late replacement Brunno Ferreira saw the momentum he gained via his “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning TKO win over Chidi Njokuani come to a screeching halt when Ferreira knocked him out.
The 30-year-old Rodrigues needs a bounce-back performance in his next outing.
Zarah Fairn: The UFC women’s featherweight division has an incredibly small number of fighters. There will likely be one less women’s 145-pound competitor following UFC 283 after Zarah Fairn fell to 0-3 in the UFC with a loss to Josiane Nunes, who was at a significant height and reach disadvantage.
Saimon Oliveira: Saimon Oliveira dropped to 0-2 in the UFC with a knockout loss to Daniel Marcos. The 31-year-old Oliveira, a pro since 2013, is far too deep into his career to show the weaknesses he displayed at UFC 283. His takedown attempts were without setup, his cardio failed and he wasted energy throwing — and missing — spinning techniques.
UFC: The song that introduced the event. Not good. I’ll leave it at that.
Daniel Cormier: If Daniel Cormier is on the call for a UFC event, there’s a good chance he will get the scoring criteria wrong. He did just that during the Cody Stamann vs. Luan Lacerda prelim fight. Seconds after Lacerda completed a takedown — and before he did anything with that takedown — Cormier said, “This takedown is very telling.” So again, here is how the MMA scoring criteria reads when it comes to takedowns:
“It shall be noted that a successful takedown is not merely a changing of position, but the establishment of an attack from the use of the takedown. Top and bottom position fighters are assessed more on the impactful/effective result of their actions, more so than their position.”
In other words, the takedown by itself is meaningless when it comes to scoring.
I’m sure readers are tired of me hitting this point, but I don’t think you should blame me. Instead, blame Cormier — a former two-division UFC champion — for regularly getting the scoring criteria wrong.
UFC: I understand the UFC doesn’t owe fighters like Mauricio Rua a graceful exit from the sport. I know the UFC’s job is to build up fighters who will remain with the promotion. However, that doesn’t mean I need to like it. The UFC should at least attempt to book a retiring veteran against a veteran peer in their final fight with the promotion.
UFC: During the UFC 283 broadcast, the UFC announced Jose Aldo will join the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2023. That’s great. However, if the UFC wants anyone to take its Hall of Fame seriously, it needs to update its website because, as I write this, the fighters who joined the promotion’s Hall of Fame in 2022 are not on the UFC Hall of Fame website.