An undefeated fighter entering the UFC Octagon for the third time, light heavyweight Jamahal Hill covets the spotlight.
Hill (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) plans to earn some attention this week.
Hill, 30, is coming off of a second-round TKO over former interim title challenger Ovince St. Preux (25-15) in December 2020. The win advanced his career record to 8-0, and marked his second official UFC victor.
Hill isn’t hearing hype at the same level as other prospects over the years, even after the dominant co-main event win over St. Preux.
“I see how the attention of how they shine the spotlight on certain things fighters do,” Hill told MMA Junkie Radio. “Things like that and that turn people up and blow them up and get the attention of the whole MMA world, that hasn’t happened to me. Even with the win over ‘OSP,’ that didn’t happen for me.”
Hill claims he is unperturbed by the confusing lack of promotion and fanfare. That doesn’t mean he’s not determined to do something about it.
“And so the ‘OSP’ fight, I didn’t, I wasn’t promoted at all. I’ve seen this video, ‘Prospects to Watch,’ and I wasn’t even on that, co-main event and undefeated. You know what I mean? Little things like that. The spotlight isn’t shining on me like it is on other people. Which is cool. You know what I mean? ‘Cause at the end of the day, what I can do, my abilities, you can’t ignore it.”
Hill finds himself in position to make another lasting impression.
Divisional veteran Paul Crag (14-4) is his opponent on the main card of the blockbuster UFC 263 pay-per-view event on Saturday.
The bout was originally scheduled to serve as the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 21 on March 20. Hill was forced to withdraw after contracting COVID-19.
Craig, 33, is unbeaten in his last four fights.
Outside of a 2019 split-decision draw to former UFC champion and MMA legend Maurício “Shogun” Rua (27-12-1), Craig scored three finishes during that stretch. Craig defeated “Shogun” by second-round TKO in the pair’s November 2020 rematch.
Against Craig, Hill is poised for a breakout performance. Discounting a May 2020 no contest verdict over Brazil’s Klidson Abreu (15-4), a body-knee knockout that was overturned by the Nevada Athletic Commission after Hill tested positive for the banned substance cannabis, Hill has notched three knockouts in the UFC Octagon since his Dana White’s Contender Series stoppage win in 2019.
Hill’s personality and finishing ability make him a prime candidate for future stardom.
Scoring another impressive in this high-profile spot could equate to a fast-track rise for Hill.
–Field Level Media