Jamahal Hill vs. Glover Teixeira
This is a super fight, a serial killer death match between the Patricidal Maniac, Glover Teixeira, and Dr. Sleep, Jamahal Hill. While they share similar motivations, their modus operandi's remain unique expressions of violence used to craft timeless masterpieces displayed in the morbid halls of the dark arts.
Urban legends claim Glover Teixiera removed the hands of Father Time and now wields them against his foes. He uses the hour and minute hands to stab, slice, and carve and fashions undergarments from the skin he removes, using the second hand as a threading needle. Taking to the catwalk, Glover then parades around, strutting like a diva in the flesh ensembles to the envy of the world's most infamous designers.
Not to be overshadowed, Jamahal Hill bludgeons opponents, careful to avoid expiration so he can enter their dreams as they lay in comas. From within the sanctity of one’s mind, Jamahal Hill attacks the psyche with thunderous blows from gauntleted fists, leaving behind an empty husk devoid of all signs of life. Gacy, Bundy, Ramirez; at its conclusion, the UFC 283 main event will provide a new name to place among the most heralded in serial killer lore.
Saturday night will feature a fight within a fight, a best of seven series between Glover Teixeira and Father Time. Glover has a 2-1 series lead since turning forty in 2020, and a win against Jamahal Hill will potentially set up Glover with a chance to close out the series in an epic rematch against Jiri Prochazka. What surprised me about Teixeira that night against Jiri was how effective Glover was on the feet. Glover dominated four minutes of the infamous fifth round and did so mostly on the feet. He had Jiri on a pair of Heelys cruising the mall in that fifth round. Jiri was stumbling around, making us all wonder if he was really hurt as badly as he looked, or if he was just remaining in character like Daniel Day-Lewis did Lincoln. I had dismissed Glover’s striking as a threat to Jiri, but Glover’s hands got better as the fight went on, and he found a home for his right hand late in the fight.
But make no mistake; Glover’s continued resurgence remains dependent on his ground game. Prochazka proved an excellent grappler in that fight, not just decent, but excellent. He escaped Glover’s mount at least a dozen times and eventually finished Glover on the mat, a feat thought impossible. Although Jamahal Hill has decent takedown defense and serviceable get-up’s, he does not have Prochazka’s slippery, slick grappling, especially from his back. Glover will have a well-manicured paved path to victory on the mat if he can close the distance safely and attack his bread and butter, the high single leg.
Glover turns fighters into amateur night pole dancers, making them do the standing splits to stave off takedowns. Wobble wobble. Shake it shake it. He initiates the single leg by throwing his right hand while stepping forward, grabbing the lead leg with his left hand, and hiking the foot over the head. Hill uses an extra wide stance, which will put his lead leg dangerously within snatching range. On the feet, the key for Glover will be avoiding getting trapped against the cage where Hill can open up with combinations. The scariest moments for Glover against Jiri were when Jiri put Glover’s back against the cage and unloaded.
Jamahal Hill is no longer an undercover savage. He was outed, the wires underneath his Blade trench coat exposed. Hill has completely lost his ability to sneak up on unsuspecting opponents. His secret is out; he’s the real deal, and regardless of Saturday’s outcome, will likely be a Champion someday.
Along with Jiri Prochazka, Hill is one of the best natural strikers in the division. Jamahal is a filthy southpaw that manages distance at an elite level with a left hand that can execute any life insurance policy. But although Hill’s left hand is the star of the show and receives the crowd’s adulation on the red carpet, his right hand might be more dangerous. Hill is a hooker (not that kind); he throws clubbing lead hooks like Roy Jones and can use them as a check defensively or as an offensive kickstart for his combos. Hill has precise same-time counters that he uses to catch opponents off guard as they initiate their own offense.
Jamahal will have to short play this fight and front load his power early to avoid Glover’s takedowns. It’s only a matter of time until Glover relocates the fight, and the longer it goes, the greater the likelihood that Glover will control long stretches from the top position. I don’t see Hill having the same success as Jiri had, forcing scrambles, escaping the mount, and reversing position. The mat is lava, and Hill has to avoid his back touching it. And Glover’s chin is still suspect. He often finds himself on some Night Of The Living Dead type-shit, shambling around the cage, batting his eyelashes and blowing kisses at unconsciousness early in fights.
For his career, Hill is 11-1 with seven TKO/KO’s and is 6-1-1 in the UFC. His lone loss was a submission loss to Paul Craig. It was the first fight in history stopped because a fighter landed too many unanswered strikes to their own face. Stop hitting yourself. Craig snapped Hill’s arm in half and it repeatedly flopped against his face while Craig landed elbows with a fully locked triangle. Why you bringing up old shit? I’m just saying, Jamahal needs to keep the fight standing. For as long as the fight stays standing, Glover will be playing with fire, and while the fight stays on the mat, Jamahal will be playing with fire.
Accordingly, this one is basically a Vegas pick ‘em, with Glover returning (-105) and Jamahal returning (-115). The fight is heavily favored (-450) to end before the final bell with plus money (+170) returning at the two-and-a-half rounds mark. Numbers don’t lie; this one won’t go the distance. The bet for Glover is a submission valued at (+220), and the bet for Jamahal is a TKO/KO (+105). The main event picks got off to a good start last week when grimy-ass Sean Strickland won a unanimous decision. Here’s to streaking in ’23: Jamahal Hill via TKO, round one. On wax.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno 4
This is MMA’s version of the Fast and Furious franchise. In the fourth installment, a Coachella Paul Walker hologram will be the special guest referee. The combatants will also be afforded the use of weapons, to be upgraded each round. The fight will start with fists wrapped in glue and glass in the first round and culminate with Thor hammers in the fifth round. To eliminate the possibility of a fifth fight, there will not be any judges or tapping, no saying Matté! This will be an ancient Gladiator fight to the death.
If we were going by the Diaz brothers’ rules, Brandon Moreno would be ahead in the series. His win against Figueiredo was a finish, whereas Figueiredo’s was a decision. In real life, Figueiredo wouldn’t have been alive to win a decision in a third fight. This is the case when stacking up Nate Diaz’s submission win over McGregor with McGregor’s decision win against Nate.
The interesting thing is Deiveson Figueiredo hasn’t fought anybody other than Brandon Moreno since 2020, while Moreno is coming off a third round TKO of Kai Kara France. This will be an advantage for Moreno, having to prepare for a different opponent, implement new techniques, and getting out of a comfort zone that comes with fighting a familiar opponent.
We know Moreno and Figueiredo stack up fairly evenly against each other in every category; Moreno’s advantages are in fight IQ, heart, and an awkward delivery that allows him to land at odd angles, and Figueiredo’s advantage is mostly in power. Figgy won the third fight because he landed the more impactful, damaging strikes and sat down Moreno multiple times. Even when you out-work/land an opponent, it’s hard to win the round when you got dropped.
Both fighters have tried to use their wrestling to add a wrinkle to their attacks, but the only real success in the grappling department was in the second fight when Moreno submitted Figueiredo. It’s more important for Moreno to mix wrestling into his game plan because we’ve seen Figueiredo show up from time to time with a questionable gas tank. Also, Figueiredo can be broken. Figueiredo suffers from the Amanda Nunes/Conor McGregor syndrome; when the going gets tough, the Nunes and McGregors get to tappin’ like Conga drummers.
Fantasy-wise, Moreno landed over one hundred strikes in both fights that went the full five rounds, while Figueiredo only landed over one hundred in the first fight. He landed eighty-five in the third bout but also had multiple knockdowns and two takedowns to Moreno’s one. This will be an FX Nip-Tuck affair, which will likely go the distance once again. It’s also a Vegas toss-up, with Figueiredo returning (-115) and Moreno (-110), and the fight is favored (-145) to go the allotted twenty-five minutes. If you see Vin Diesel in the crowd, bet the draw; that f**ker probably bought the rights and has three more sequels planned. Brandon Moreno via decision. Wax on, wax off.
Gilbert Burns vs. Neil Magny
Gilbert Burns’ brother, Herbert, has the worst cardio in the world. What does that have to do with the price of eggs at Costco? Nothing, I just think it’s crazy how one brother gasses carrying in the groceries, and the other can engage in a three-round Michael Vick dog fight against one of the scariest mf’ers on earth with no issues. Come Saturday night, Gil Burns will be at the entrance to the Bridge Of Death answering these questions three posed by the gatekeeper Neil Magny. If Magny can pull this one off, I might have to get a Neil Magny tattoo.
Gilbert Burns was once one follow-up punch away from being the champ when he had Kamaru Usman doing the Griddy in the first round of their title fight. He was then an additional fifteen seconds away from pulling off a Buster Douglas against the Boogeyman, Khamzat Chimaev. Gilbert landed a massive right-hand counter in the closing seconds that folded Cimaev like an Olive Garden napkin. Had there been a few more seconds left on the clock, he might have been able to close the deal.
Although he’s an elite grappler, the key to Gilbert’s rise to a top contender in the welterweight division is his Quagmire right hand. Giggity giggity goo. Burns is a prototypical wrestler striker with massive power strikes. His right hand dawns the Thanos glove with all the Infinity stones in place, and his right foot rocks the giant boot the Australian MP tried to kick Bart in the ass with. Don’t tread on me. You mix heavy bombs with explosive hand speed, and you have one of the more feared strikers in the division.
Burns’ path to victory against Magny will be forked in the middle, with one path leading toward taking the fight to the mat and the other keeping it standing. But the less perilous path will be taking Magny down and dominating the top position. Magny’s Achilles hill has always been superior grapplers; he’s at his most dangerous when he can implement a game plan with equal parts wrestling/grappling and striking. When he can’t make things ugly in the clinch or grind from the top position and becomes one-dimensional, he’s far less successful in his endeavors. Burns will likely use a game plan similar to the one he used against Wonderboy when he dominated the entirety with takedowns and top control.
Neil Magny is the only fighter with a longer forehead than reach. His forehead even dwarfs the length of his UFC Hall Of Fame resume. But despite what his hairline would suggest, it’s still No Retreat, No Surrender for Neil Magny. For the entirety of his twenty-eight-fight UFC career, Neil has been Tony Gwynn with two strikes on him, a tough out. Magny is a master at making contact and getting on base. There’s nothing sexy about his style; slow and steady wins the race. Neil is a heavy-pressure/ superior cardio fighter who can take your best shots and keep marching forward.
Above all, Magny is the Al Davis of the UFC; just win, baby! He’s grimy, filthy, and rotten and just finds a way to win or make fights far more competitive than they should be on paper. Magny’s striking is fairly robotic, but he’s long and good at using his range to avoid taking big shots with any regularity. Even though he’ll be out-gunned in the grappling department, it likely won’t stop him from trying to grind Burns in the clinch and dirty box and make things generally ugly. U have to rock the Bod Man cologne, Doc Martins, and LA Looks hair gel that got you to the dance.
The finishing threat and heavy favorite (-400) will be Gilbert Burns. In a way, this fight feels like a fight just to keep Burns active while the rest of the division is tied up. At (+305), is there any long-shot value on Neil Magny? If there is, I don’t see it. Burns is just better than Magny in every category. But Magny is still a double OG. Gilbert Burns via decision. On wax.
Lauren Murphy vs. Jessica Andrade
This one is two junkyard dogs scrapping among the heaps of jalopies for dibs on biting the ass of the next person who stumbles on the premises. Lauren Murphy would play the Tin Man in a Wizard Of Oz reboot, and Jessica Andrade already had a shot at stardom in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Murphy is one fight removed from challenging for the title, and Andrade is knocking on the door of a second shot at the flyweight strap.
In a lot of ways, Lauren Murphy’s style is a lot like Neil Magny’s. She lacks explosive athletic ability and intricate technique, but she’s a winner and has a knack for drawing opponents into ugly, grinding affairs. Murphy is 6-1 in her last seven bouts, with the only loss coming to Valentina Shevchenko. Her special ability is hanging around like a stubborn doodie you can’t pinch off. I bet every single fighter Lauren has ever fought thought they would roll right over her like Suge Knight in a parking lot. Next thing they know, they’re in deep waters and in need of a pair off floaties.
Jessica Andrade is used to physically dominating opponents and out-muscling them in every position. But she won’t be able to bully Lauren Murphy like that. Murphy has unassuming short bus strength that often catches opponents by surprise. Lauren is tough to take down and is at her best when she can operate in the clinch.
On the feet is where Murphy will have a hard time handling Andrade’s strength and power. A tiny Mike Tyson, bobbing and weaving her way into range, Andrade has enough power to charge every Tesla in California this summer. All hooks and overhands, Andrade marches down opponents and unloads to the body and head with nothing but power shots. You can’t let Andrade build up a head of steam, or she’ll TCU you real quick, drop a sixty burger on you like it’s nothing.
In twenty-one career fights, Murphy has only been finished the one time against Valentina. Andrade will be the massive (-525) favorite, but I don’t know if she’ll be able to justify the Fantasy price tag. I think this will be a little more tricky than Andrade can anticipate, and Murphy might, at the least, get to the final bell. Should she land one of her patented Hobgoblin bombs, an Andrade TKO/KO will return (+130) odds, and a Murphy decision will return (+700). Jessica Andrade via decision.
Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker
This is essentially a grappler vs. striker matchup, a circus matchup featuring a contortionist versus a trapeze artist. This fight will feature a nearly one hundred percent finishing rate. Paul Craig finished every one of his sixteen career wins, and Walker finished eighteen of his noineteen career dubs. Fantasy-wise, this fight will provide a solid shot at scoring first-round finishing points. Paul Craig is a submission Houdini, and Johnny Walker is wild; he howls at the moon. Make sure you get your Mary Jane pep talk out of the way before this scrap.
You may remember Johnny Walker from his fight against Jamahal Hill when he turned into Steve Aoki at an Encore pool party hyping the crowd. When Hill skimmed that right hand off the top of Walker’s head, he turned into a symphony orchestrator bringing home the grand finale. He looked like he had drank too much of himself and lay slumped against the cage. He looked like Barney Gumble outside Moe’s Tavern. He looked like a televangelist lifting the congregation to the heavens on some Joel Osteen-type shit. On some Oral Roberts (not an adult film star name) type shit. Okay, you get the picture.
Johnny Walker is a Harlem Globetrotter trick striker who throws everything except fundamental strikes. He won’t sit behind the jab to set up fluid combinations, but he will throw flying and spinning attacks Willy Nilly, Oprah giveaways until the opponent or he is unconscious. Over the years, I think I’ve slept on Walker’s grappling. I now think he might have underrated Jiu-Jitsu, and in twenty-six fights, Walker has only been submitted once. He’s also coming off a first-round submission of the Toyota Frontrunner, Ion Cutelaba.
The keys for Walker against Craig will be doing some Johnny Walker-type shit and defending Craig’s submissions from the guard with heavy ground and pound. The best way to defend against submissions in MMA is by punching that mf’er in the face. Win or lose, Paul Craig tends to take Pee-Wee-Herman-in-the-movie-theater-beatings in every fight. The old Jiu-Jitsu adage says: Punch a black belt in the face, and he becomes a brown belt. Punch him in the face again, and he becomes a purple belt…
Paul Craig is the villain in a 90s movie, clinging to the side of a cliff while trying to pull the hero down with him. His main means of relocating the fight to the mat is to latch on and pull guard. Willing or unwilling, Craig pulls you down on top of him and wastes no time tying you up in Boy Scouts' knots. He’s the human Twister mat, and you can ask Jamahal Hill; you might end up with a new joint or two when you leave the cage, looking like a G.I. Joe action figure. Craig is a grappling Merlin with thirteen career submissions, including submissions over Jamahal Hill and Magomed Ankalaev.
The problem for Paul Craig is his striking. He has penguin hands. He has two left hands. He has Hanson from Scary Movie 2 hands. His standup is better sitting down. And his hand speed is shipped from India thirty-day economy. When it comes to stand-up, deep waters for Paul Craig is the little pool at the end of a Slip ‘n Slide. Paul Craig is the rare fighter who has better kicks than hands, and if the takedowns dry up, Paul Craig is gonna have a bad time.
Johnny Walker is the (-185) favorite, and Walker is the (+150) dog. Bust out the Piso Mojado signs. Paul Craig is permanently dripping in value; there isn’t a man in the light heavyweight division Craig can’t mess around and submit. But I keep coming back to Johnny Walker’s grappling. I think he’ll be able to avoid Craig’s early sub attempts, and the rest will be history. A Paul Craig submission will return (+250) odds and a Johnny Walker TKO/KO will return (-150). A Walker submission (+1200) could also be in play, the ol’ knock-down-and-snatch-the-neck routine. Johnny Walker via TKO, round one.
Bruno Ferreira vs. Gregory Rodrigues
He’s back. Brazilian Deebo, Gregory Rodrigues, is still rolling through the hood on the beach cruiser, looking for a fight to pick, a chain to snatch. Since debuting after a KO loss on the Contender Series, Rodrigues has gone 4-1, and the lone loss was a San Francisco department store robbery. Deebo has proven to be a dangerous striker, but his best-kept secret is his slick Jiu-Jitsu. We’ve seen it in flashes, creative back-takes, stifling top control, and nifty takedowns, but he hasn’t had to rely on it because he’s been knocking people the f**k out, man! Three of his four wins came via TKO/KO, including his last two outings against solid strikers Julian Marquez and Chidi Njokuani.
The UFC brass hasn’t been handing him Smokey’s and Red’s to fight, and this time around will be no different. Bruno Ferreira is a 9-0 undefeated fighter coming off a one and a half minute first round TKO win. As best as I can tell from that one minute, Ferreira looks like a life-size Gilbert Burns who throws nothing but heavy round punches with bad intentions. His aggression is red-line it until the wheels fall off, and he’s Brazilian, too, so you know he can grapple. In Brazil they wrap babies in gi’s after they armbar the doctor who delivered them. Likely, this will be a stand-up banger, and the chances of this one going the distance are close to the chances of you taking a dump and not looking at it before you flush, zero.
Rodirgues is a heavy (-350) favorite, and that worries me a little. Deebo is very hittable (he was once got KO’d by Craig on the Contender Series), and he loves to engage in back and forth firefights on the feet. I think it will be competitive until it’s not, and one fighter is sleeping on the mat. At (+250) and Fantasy-wise, Ferreira will have a big upside as a career one hundred percent finisher with six TKO/KO’s and three subs. A Rodirgues TKO/KO will return even money, a submission (+275), and a Ferreira TKO/KO will return (+450).
The Bonfim Brothers
These two are Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger twins, making their debuts on the same card. Ismael Bonfim fights at lightweight and will be matched up against the three-minute heathen, Terrance McKinney. And Gabriel Bonfim will be fighting at welterweight against the world-class striker Mounir Lazzez. Both brothers have the same aggressive power striking, and both fights will be absolute bangers.
Ismael will have a couple distinct advantages against the (-130) favorite Terrance McKinney: power and cardio. Terrance McKinney loads all his wax in one dab and lets the chips fall where they may. In every fight, he’s shot out of a cannon and tries to make it an early night. He’s 13-4 for his career, and fifteen of those fights ended in the first round. Against Drew Dober, McKinney had Dober looking woozy in the opening minute but then gassed trying to finish him and got finished himself.
If Ismael can avoid McKinney’s early wild attacks, I think there’s a ton of value on a Bonfim finish. Also, Bonfim landed eighty-five strikes at a five-and-a-half significant strike landed per minute pace on the Contender Series. For his career, Ismael is 18-3 with eight TKO/KO’s and four subs. An Ismael TKO/KO will return (+225).
Gabriel is almost a mirror image of his brother. Both use short power combinations with tight, straight punches and suffocating forward pressure. But unlike his brother, Gabriel is an undefeated fighter at 13-0 with a one hundred percent finishing rate, including three TKO/KO’s and ten subs. This guy likes to choke people. Also, unlike his brother, Gabriel will be a (-185) favorite against Mounir Lazzez, and the odds (-190) favor the fight coming to a conclusion before the final bell. This will be a back-and-forth technical scrap on the feet, and if Gabriel’s four-minute TKO dub on the Contender Series was clever foreshadowing, this one may have a similar outcome. A Gabriel submission will return (+175) odds and is his likely method of victory.
Thanks for reading, homies.