Jamahal Hill returns to the UFC octagon on March 20 against Paul Craig, and despite the number next to his name, Hill feels he’s gone unnoticed.
“Even though I’m ranked, I don’t feel noticed. I don’t feel like they understand why I’m here, and what’s really about happen, so I’m just staying locked in. Now it’s just an exclamation point on the message. If you get in my way and you sign that contract, I’m going to f*ck you up.”
That is a quote from the No. 15 ranked light heavyweight Jamahal Hill, who recently talked to Cageside Press, ahead of his fight with No. 14 Paul Craig on March 20.
While Hill acknowledges that the fans and even the MMA media have noticed the work he has put in during his first year in the UFC, he feels like the UFC is not promoting him correctly. He said it in previous interviews with MMA Junkie radio and James Lynch, and he’s doubled down with us.
“In my last five fights, I have four finishes,” Hill said. “Over kickboxers, one of them was black-belt, and he wrestled at Michigan State. I’ve been tested, but I guess it didn’t ring any bells.”
He compared his come-up to Conor McGregor, finish-wise. McGregor had three TKOs and one decision in his first four fights within the promotion, same as Hill.
In Hill’s first year in the UFC, he had a dominant decision win over Darko Stošić, he then finished Klidson Abreu in the first round. In his most recent win, he finished Ovince Saint Preux with punches – a feat that only one other UFC fighter could do in his 23 fights. Hill wants everyone to include his Dana White’s Contender Series win too because the UFC were the matchmakers. He finished Alexander Poppeck to punch his ticket to the UFC.
“I’m a true king, and kings rule. If ya’ll want a true era of dominance, with money fights, give me the respect and the love I need.”
Hill will continue to look for respect when he fights Paul on March 20, and he plans on winning dominantly.
“I’m going to let him pick his own poison,” Hill said. “His stand-up isn’t there; I will f*ck him up standing up. Period. He knows this. On the ground, it’s just as bad, if not worse. If he pulls guard, that’s a death wish.”
Paul is mainly known as a grappler, but Hill doesn’t see his fight as a striker vs. grappler match-up.
“I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu longer than I’ve been striking,” Hill said.
Hill vs. Craig goes down on March 20 at UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Holland. The main card airs live on ESPN.
Check out the rest of the interview above, where Hill talks about his first NFT card, training with Floyd, and his prediction for Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Błachowicz at UFC 259.