Jamahal Hill is, in many respects, still trying to come to terms with what he achieved at UFC 283. Hill has now taken center stage to share his view on who he wants in his next bout.
On Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, the newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion noted: “It comes in moments. Just all the hard work and the journey and all those things. But now I’m just hungry for more greatness. I’m hungry now just to truly, truly — see, now that I’ve made history, I want to cement my name into that history, and I want to do that with names. Like a Jiri [Prochazka]. Like a [Alex] Pereira. Like a Magomed [Ankalaev]. Like a Jan [Blachowicz].
“Whoever. Whoever steps up. Whoever rises to the top of it. Whatever cream rises to the top, that’s what I want to swipe. I’m here for action. I’m here for them fights.”
As the light heavyweight division was in disarray at UFC 283, Hill, at the age of 31, took full advantage by accepting a last-minute challenge to former champion Glover Teixeira for the vacant strap and then crushing him. Very few people saw Hill’s remarkable rise coming, especially since he wasn’t even in the championship picture as recently as December. However, “Sweet Dreams” now has only one opponent in mind for his first title defence: the guy who gave up the belt, Jiri Prochakza.
“That is the fight that I want. There is no fight I want more than that fight,” Hill said.
“I know that’s a big fight, and I know that fight can catapult me into the right type of [financial] figures I want to be in.”
However, it is uncertain at this time whether or not Prochazka is a workable alternative.
A shoulder injury sustained by Prochazka in November served as the impetus for the series of occurrences that precipitated Hill’s meteoric rise to prominence. As a result of Prochazka’s decision to relinquish his title, the UFC scheduled Ankalaev vs. Blachowicz for the next championship fight in the division at UFC 282. However, as the outcome of that fight was a draw, the UFC rescheduled the fight to take place between Hill and Teixeira at UFC 283.
Recently, Prochazka stated in an interview with MMA Fighting that he is anxious to test himself against Hill and that he is seeking a comeback to competition in either the month of July or the month of August.
That timing works quite well for Hill, but only under the condition that Prochazka’s projection is accurate.
“I’ll wait,” Hill said. “I’ll wait, I’ll let him go through his rehab and things over these next couple months. But around maybe like April, I want an answer. I want to know an answer: Are you going to be back? Are you going be back around this time?
“If not, they need to start making preparations to have me fight somebody else.”