Jamahal Hill returns from an unexpected layoff at UFC Vegas 16 this weekend. And steps right into the biggest fight of his career to date.
Yes, the next fight is always the biggest, or so the cliche goes. But a fight against Ovince Saint Preux, who once fought Jon Jones for interim light heavyweight gold, really is the biggest to date for Hill.
Hill sees his journey to the UFC Vegas 16 co-main event as a “dream come true.” For Hill (7-0. 1NC), who won his way into the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, then put two wins together inside the octagon, that can probably be said of most of his journey to this point.
Except, of course, his “little commission issue” — which resulted in one of those wins being overturned to a No Contest. That was courtesy of a drug test failure for marijuana following his May 30 win against Klidson Abreu — an increasingly controversial decision by athletic commissions (in this case, the Nevada State Athletic Commission) in an era when the drug has been decriminalized in parts of the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere in the world.
“I think it’s f*cking stupid,” Hill said when asked at the UFC Vegas 16 media day about how regulations could be changed moving forward. “I think it’s dumb as hell, I think everything I had to deal with as a result of that is dumb as f*ck.”
“I think they need to focus energy on things that actually matter, and not goofy sh*t like that,” added Hill, who went on to clarify that he was not using the drug in-competition, but rather weeks before, prior to having a fight booked.
“Just to clear the record, I did not smoke in competition. I smoked four weeks before that. Out-of-competition, before I even took the fight. When I took the fight, I stopped smoking immediately,” Hill explained. “And somehow in their test it came back that my levels were too high, even after the UFC did an investigation, tested my old samples, and showed them the difference in the levels and everything.”
And so the NSAC “still went ahead and decided to suspend me, fine me, put me through all this other bullsh*t. It’s annoying as f*ck, bro. But it is what it is. I’m not going to keep looking back on it, I’m just pushing forward. I’ve got a good future ahead of me, I’m just focused on that.”
Now, it’s time to “show what I can do,” said Hill, as he prepares to tango with Saint Preux. “Get in there and have fun, just put on another show. I’ve got the best job in the world, to me. I’m excited to get back to work.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 16 media day scrum with Jamahal Hill above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 5 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.