This past Saturday, Jamahal Hill had designs on putting on a highlight reel performance and announcing himself to the rest of the light heavyweight division. Instead, he wound up in the emergency room.
Hill faced jiu-jitsu specialist Paul Craig in the main card opener of UFC 263 but things did not go as planned for “Sweet Dreams”. Early in the first round, Craig pulled guard on Hill and immediately began attacking Hill’s arm. Craig was able to secure a deep armbar and though Hill attempted to defend, he was unable to escape and Craig ultimately popped Hill’s arm. It was a nasty-looking injury but according to the man himself, everything is totally fine now.
“It’s not as bad as it looked,” Hill told TMZ Sports. “There’s no break. My elbow just dislocated pretty badly but they were able to pop it back in and the doctor said it’s rock solid. It’s doing all the movement that it needs to, it’s just going to be sore for a while. I’ll follow up with my doctor when I land back at home and we’re gonna go from there. Hopefully I can be back in real soon.
“It was a little discomfort whenever I first originally looked down and saw it, pain didn’t really register, it was just ‘Win.’ It was just the competitor in me. I tried to knock him out. I was like,’ ‘Alright, you’ve got to land that shot, try to knock him out.’ That’s what I went for but it was pretty bad spot for me not being able to post up with my arm at that time. The only thing I can do from that point is, ‘How’s my face on the ground? Learn. Good lesson. Alright this happened.’ Instantly my mind is on growth, how do I grow from here? I got up and went to the official, stood up at the official decision to show respect to my opponent, to show respect to the game. I went and took my lumps and now I’m gonna adjust and I’m gonna come back.”
Hill’s injury was made all the worse because referee Al Guinee did not recognize it when it happened and allowed the fight to continue on for some time afterwards. In an act of mercy, Craig, who said he knew he’d injured the arm, stopped torquing the injured arm and transitioned to a triangle choke. In response, Hill, still unwilling to submit, tried to punch him with his good arm while his dislocated one flopped about uselessly. Eventually Guinee did stop the bout but he has been the target of much criticism for failing to step in sooner, including receiving a post-fight press conference diatribe from UFC President Dana White. But while Hill can understand where the criticism is coming from, he says he doesn’t hold any ill will towards Guinee.
“He gave me a chance to try to pull out something spectacular,” Hill said. “If it was one of my guys, I would have wanted him to protect him but it’s kinda hard to say that with me, with the heart I have in there. I wanted to try to get that knockout still.”
The other big takeaway from Hill’s defeat to Craig is his post-fight actions. Following the bout, Hill and Craig, who had some bad blood entering the fight, squashed the beef, with Hill posting to social media a picture of the two of them partying together. But though the bad blood is gone, Hill says he still wants another crack at “Bearjew” sometime in the future.
“We definitely gonna have to run that one back at some point,” Hill said. “I feel with what he’s done recently he deserves to move forward and push forward and I’ve got to handle whatever I’ve got to handle through the loss that I just went through, but definitely. I hope he keeps winning so that way the next time we meet it’s for some serious marbles. But yeah, that’s definitely one I want to run back.”
The loss was the first of Hill’s professional career. He now sits at an overall record of 8-1, with 1 no-contest.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Kings of Cringe.
Don’t try talking your way out the fight with Hasbulla now. Finally someone your own size to pick on and you’re running already, just like your retirement!— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) June 15, 2021
I want to thank my opponent Douglas Lima! @PhenomLima Huge respect you for accepting the fight with me! I am very proud to have fought in a cage such a great champion and great person! pic.twitter.com/fQBdlhRkFY— Yaroslav “Dynamo” Amosov (@YaroslavAmosov) June 16, 2021
Baddest man on the planet.
Always go for what you believe. Doesn't matter what people say or think they know, you're the master of your destiny. Remember that you're allowed to make mistakes. Nobody cares more about you than yourself and time will make it right for you.#thepredator #unbeatable @mademan pic.twitter.com/okIbYimr7p— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) June 15, 2021
A happy Rob is a dangerous Rob. pic.twitter.com/jNXUSqEVs5— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) June 16, 2021
Always a special moment. The adrenalin & anticipation, rabid & unforeseen - a controlled chaos. You never know what is about to unfold right in front of you! The beauty of this sport. #MMA pic.twitter.com/66VUigLTkD— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) June 15, 2021
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