The long time head coach of the famed ‘The Pit’ MMA gym tried unsuccessfully to get the title fight between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill stopped between rounds.
UFC 283 marked the end of an era. One of the last PRIDE stars still actively competing in MMA, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua took to the cage for the final time for a bout against Ihor Potieria. The 41-year-old had made no bones about stepping away, stating well before fight night that this would be his last trip to the cage.
Somewhat more unexpected, however, was the retirement of Glover Teixeira, following the evening’s main event. Having just lost the light heavyweight title back in June of last year, the Brazilian battled Jamahal Hill for five rounds in an attempt to regain UFC gold. The 43-year-old had previously made it known that he’d hoped to hang ‘em up with the belt around his waist. Hill put a stop to that plan.
The fight was a lopsided affair, with ‘Sweet Dreams’ out-striking Teixeira at a 3-to-1 clip to become the first ever champion to come to the UFC off Dana White’s Contender Series. The action got so one-sided at one point, that Teixeira’s longtime coach and cornerman John Hackleman tried to get the bout stopped between rounds. He was out-voted. All told, Teixeira absorbed 232 significant strikes, 91 of them after the third round.
The experience may not have caused a sudden shift in outlook for Hackleman, who has apparently always disliked doing corner work—and admits to being “a known fight-stopper”— but it does seem that this was a final straw. With UFC 283 in the books and Teixeira retired, Hackleman says he’s cornered his last bout.
“That’s my last cornering,” Hackleman told MMA Fighting. “I’m never going to work a corner again.”
“I just don’t like to see guys get any kind of beatings or brain damage. I’m just real quick on the gun.”
“I’m thankful they didn’t [stop it],” he added. “I know this wouldn’t have gone well with anyone. It would have made a lot of people really unhappy, and I don’t want it to be about me. I would have thrown it in after the third. I would have been completely happy with the fight stopping there. I saw no reason for it to go on after that.”
Hackleman added that stemming back to his competitive fighting days (compiling an 8-4-1 record as a pro boxer between 1982-85), he wishes that his own trainers had stopped a couple of his fights earlier.
“I’m sure I’ve taken away a lot of potential wins,” Hackleman admitted. “Imagine if [Jiri Prochazka’s] corner threw in the towel in the middle of the fifth round [against Teixeira]?”
While Teixeira is done fighting and Hackleman is done cornering, fans are left to wonder what’s next for Jamahal Hill. The newly minted champion has a host of potential contenders waiting for their chance at gold. Chief among them, recently stripped belt-holder Jiri Prochazka—who is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury. It seems more likely that fans will see Hill in the cage against either Jan Blachowicz or Magomed Ankalaev sometime in the near future.