With UFC 283 coming up in less than two weeks, the question of who the first Contender Series champion will be may be about to be answered.
Jamahal Hill is set to take on former Champ, Glover Teixeira, in a bout for the still-vacant Light heavyweight title. A win over the 41-fight veteran would see Hill crowned the first champion to come through the contender series after entering the company in 2019 following a TKO victory over Alexander Poppeck. Since then he has gone 5-1, with victories over Ovince St Preux, Johnny Walker and former title challenger Thiago Santos. He faces perhaps his toughest test at 283 against Teixeira, who has fought essentially every name the division has produced. With Hill’s lone defeat being to Jiu-Jitsu Beast Paul Craig, Teixeira could most definitely pose serious problems on the ground.
But if Hill is unable to get it done, then who’s next?
Rankings wise it would have to be the Suga show himself, Sean O’Malley. O’Malley is without doubt the biggest name to arise from the show. After beating former champ Petr Yan, All be it extremely controversially, It’s hard to deny that his next fight should more than likely be for the title or at least a number one contender spot. The division is in somewhat of a stalemate however, with talks of Cejudo returning for a potential shot against the current champ Aljermain Sterling, Chito Vera, the only loss on O’Malley’s record, on a streak too and Merab Dvalishvili not looking to fight his friend and teammate, it’s hard to say when his shot could come.
Adrian Yanez is rapidly climbing that same division with a 9-fight win streak and striking to rival anyone. Geoff Neal, Maycee Barber, and Edman Shabazyan are all potential future title contenders but with a way to go. It will be interesting to see if Hill can get it done this week and become the first contender series champion but it will certainly be no easy win.