Jamahal Hill looked impressive in his octagon debut, which opened up the UFC Raleigh card Saturday night.
Light heavyweights on two different career paths opened up the UFC Raleigh main card on Saturday. Coming in off the Contender Series, Jamahal Hill was primed for a big debut. Matchmakers clearly had faith in him, given the main card placement. Opponent Darko Stosic, for his part, had lost two straight. He was badly in need of a win to secure his spot in the 205lb division.
Hill had Stosic under pressure early, and the European fighter wound up in a backward somersault to escape harm. He regrouped, and went back on the attack. Hill’s kicks had some real pop on them, but Darko answered back with some powerful lefts and rights that backed Hill up. Hill used his length well, going to the body with punches and kicks frequently. When Stosic could close the distance, his power was a threat. But it was Stosic that was a bit bloodied by the end of the round, while Hill showed that his agility gave him an edge.
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In the second Hill turned up the heat, and soon enough, Darko Stosic was under fire. Backing up, and being tagged by Hill. Stosic continued pawing at his nose. Hill went to the body, went to the head, and targeted his opponent’s legs with the odd kick as well. A superman punch, jabs, straight punches, and body shots were all taking a toll on Stosic. Hill was making the most of his debut through two rounds.
Round three saw a change of pace for the Serbian Stosic. A big takedown allowed him to score some ground n’ pound before Hill escaped back to his feet. However, once up, Hill was again able to keep his opponent at the end of his punches. He had slowed, however. The question was whether or not Stosic could capitalize. It seemed he could. Stosic soon changed levels and shot for another takedown, downing Hill with authority. The problem was, he couldn’t keep him there. After being battered through the opening two frames, Stosic was likely in need of a finish.
That didn’t happen, and the result was predictable.
“I’m ready to show y’all what happens went you let a lion into the dog house!” Hill said following the fight. Hopefully, that involves similar performances.
Official Result: Jamahal Hill def. Darko Stosic by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)