The UFC Vegas 16 co-main event saw Ovince Saint Preux looking to make it two-straight wins over Contender Series alums. Of course, Jamahal Hill, returning from a marijuana suspension under the NSAC, would have something to say about that. The undefeated Hill was looking to catapult himself into the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings, at least potentially, with a win over the “Von Preux” choke master.
Adding a wrinkle to things on Saturday, OSP had missed weight by one and a half pounds.
For what amounted to a rookie going up against a seasoned veteran, Hill looked calm early. He stayed away from Saint Preux’s power hand, working in some kicks and combos, and eventually found his range. Hill also went to the body, while Saint Preux seemed to rely heavily on his kicks — only, there wasn’t a ton behind them, at least until a body kick midway through the frame. A stance switch later from Saint Preux, and his low kicks were having more of an effect. Late in the round, Hill would launch a flurry of strikes before the pair headed to the second.
Hill may not have shown much in the way of jitters against the former title hopeful — but he was also having issues targeting the head. Through the opening round, his best work might have been to the body. In the second, Hill almost immediately went upstairs, closing the distance at an angle. OSP landed a couple of kicks to the body in the second, and continued chopping at Hill’s legs. Hill came close with a knee after Saint Preux slipped, and later had the vet backed up against the fence. A hard right hand landed, in addition to a few other strikes before Saint Preux clinched up. Blood was in the water, however, and Hill uncorked some wild punches. A number of those missed, but Hill would manage to connect with a knee, fire off another, then finish things off with a combo, hooks flying. Saint Preux was nearly out on his feet, and turned away from the onslaught, giving the ref all he needed to wave the affair off.
STILL UNDEFEATED 🗣
📈 @JamahalH has gone up another level tonight!
— UFC (@ufc) December 6, 2020
Clearly the biggest win of Jamahal Hill’s career. And enough to earn him a look further up the food chain. Even former champ Jon Jones was impressed.
Official Result: Jamahal Hill def. Ovince Saint Preux by TKO, Round 1, 3:37