American mixed martial artist Jamahal Hill sat front and centre at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 295, as he anticipated to challenge the winner of the main event once he is healthy enough to compete.
Hill, who would have defended his light heavyweight title, was forced to relinquish it due to a ruptured Achilles tendon prompting the UFC to book Jiri Prochazka against Alex Pereira to crown a new champion.
Hill intends to scout both fighters despite being unable to compete on Saturday, anticipating that he would have the opportunity to face the new champion next year.
Pereira was crowned the new UFC light heavyweight champion at Saturday’s UFC 295 main event against Prochazka at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Before Saturday’s showdown, Hill told MMA Fighter: “A lot of people are expecting a standup battle. Just like a hell of a kickboxing display. If they come out and maybe get a little bit more good boxing in the pocket, just a banger, a dog fight. Or one of them actually shows some dominant display of grappling or something, you’ve got a lot of room to be surprised.”
Meanwhile, Prochazka had returned to the UFC, under a similar circumstance as Hill, after a shoulder injury, that prompted him to vacate the UFC title while he recovered.
Now, 17 months after initially winning the belt, he faced former middleweight champion Pereira, who won a second title against Jan Blachowicz in July.
Prochazka, known for his unconventional striking and grappling style, has made a significant impact in the UFC with a perfect 3-0 record. However, he has faced challenges, particularly in back-and-forth fights with Dominick Reyes and Glover Teixeira.
“He takes some risks,” Hill said of Prochazka. “He does things a little out of the ordinary and unorthodox for most coaches, and most people wouldn’t advise you to do. I think they work for him.”
Hill said he was not making a prediction for the fight because ultimately he just wants the next title shot. Ideally, though, he prefers the opponent who will draw the most eyeballs.
“For me, I want the fight the most people want to see,” Hill said. “That’s what I want. I want to sell. I want to be a part of big shows and put on big shows and take home the checks from those big shows. That’s what I got into this for.
“My time is coming back. I’ll be back. It’s only a bump in the road. Whenever I come back, it’s right back like I never left.”