Despite having four knockout wins in five fights, Jamahal Hill felt like he was often getting overlooked by the UFC when it came to light heavyweight title contention. That all changed the night of UFC 282 after Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev fought to a split draw in a dreary 205 pound title fight that sucked the life out of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
During the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White immediately announced that the belt would be back up for grabs at UFC 283 on January 21st. Jamahal Hill would fight Glover Teixeira in Brazil on six weeks notice. In a new video podcast, Hill chatted with Michael Bisping and fellow light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith about getting to fight Teixeira.
“He’s been around so I figured all you guys that’s been at the top, I’ve always watched fights visualizing being in there and having the moments, he’s definitely somebody that I figured I would [fight],” Hill said. “How things went after him winning the belt, the fight with Jiri [Prochazka], I thought it might be a possibility that we might end up missing each other. I guess not!”
Hill was originally set to face Smith in a March fight, but now Smith will be headed to Michigan to help Jamahal prepare for his title shot. Smith lost to Teixeira via 5th round TKO and is intimately aware of the Brazilian’s strengths and weaknesses.
“I’d like to highlight how potentially stupid this is for both of you?” Michael Bisping joked.
“The point of us linking up is to improve, to get better, you know?” Hill replied.
“I’m a different guy every six months,” Smith said. “Jamahal is a different fighter every time I’ve seen him fight. So I don’t suspect we’re going to bring the same things to the table, but I also don’t think we’re going to be in these training sessions trying to take each other’s heads off. It’s going to be very specific, and more my insight on my experience with Glover. There’s no secrets there. There’s some intricacies and small things that Glover does different and things that were there that I didn’t see [going into the fight].”
“Sweet Dreams” is committed to sticking with the team that got him to the dance, Black Lion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but “Lionheart” won’t be the only ringer being called in as Hill tightens his game up for this surprise title fight.
“I called my team and I put them to task, and then I started reaching out to people,” Hill said. “Reaching out just to get a different element into the camp. Derek Brunson actually reached out to me, so he said he was willing to come out and work on some single legs. Belal [Muhammad], I reached out to Belal. Aljo [Sterling]. I’m gonna have some talks with Aljo as well. The main thing was making sure we had time for my head instructor, my head jiu-jitsu instructor, to come up and have more time because he lives in Indiana where our gym headquarters is.”
“So basically it’s an All-Star team,” Bisping said. “You’ve got five weeks, but you’re in shape already, you’re ready to go, and it’s a massive opportunity.”
UFC 283 goes down from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 21st, 2023. Also featured on the card: a fourth title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno to unify the flyweight title, and a welterweight contender match between Gilbert Burns and Neil Magny.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 283 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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