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Jamahal Hill still dreams of Jiri Prochazka fight, vows to hand out ‘naps’ to a ‘tired’ division

UFC Fight Night: Walker v Hill
Jamahal Hill
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Jamahal Hill isn’t one for callouts, although he definitely has a dream fight in mind when it comes to the light heavyweight division.

After a devastating knockout of Johnny Walker in the UFC Vegas 48 main event, Hill wasn’t interested in naming anybody as a potential next opponent, but he still has his sights set on a future showdown with a fighter who could be champion within the next few months.

“Right now, other than the Jiri [Prochazka] fight, not really [anybody I want to fight],” Hill said at the UFC Vegas 48 post-fight press conference. “Everybody else is kind of tied up, and then the way that they fight and kind of like how they bring the fight out.

“The reason I want Jiri so bad, I feel like that’s a fight from both ends, it would be a banger. I think it would be promoted well and not too many other people have that star ability like that. I feel like I talk well. I feel like I dress well. I feel like I fight well. So I feel like I’ve got that swag. I feel like he was one of those guys.”

Since arriving in the UFC, Prochazka has made quite an impact with back-to-back knockout wins that have propelled him into a title fight on May 7 at UFC 274 against reigning light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira.

Obviously, Hill knows it’s not likely he’ll draw Prochazka right away, but that’s still his ideal opponent. That said, Hill isn’t shying away from anybody else in the division, because he’s ready to deliver another highlight-reel finish against any of them.

“I feel like the division is a little tired,” Hill said. “Some guys need some naps. ‘Sweet Dreams’ is here to provide them.”

Hill certainly lived up to the moment after being thrust into the main event on short notice once Rafael Fiziev was unable to secure a visa in time, which forced Fiziev’s fight against Rafael dos Anjos to get pushed back to UFC 272 in March.

Judging by his performance, there were no nerves whatsoever, as Hill laid waste to Walker with a first-round finish to cap off his night in Las Vegas.

“I just treated it like the fight hadn’t changed,” Hill said. “I was already confident when I took the fight as a main event. I was already confident. I had already put the work in. I was feeling good about how the fight would go.

“[The UFC] adding rounds and adding the main event, I didn’t let that bother me. That’s what I told myself. It’s still the same fight. Don’t put anything extra anything on it. Take what it is, just another fight.”

Hill had to weather an early storm from Walker at the start of the fight after the Brazilian fired off a number of head kicks in succession that actually caused a significant amount of swelling on his forearm.

Once Hill made the necessary adjustment by going from southpaw to orthodox, he set up the knockout before unleashing the right hand that put Walker away for good.

“I was just being patient,” Hill said. “He’s a long guy, he’s big, he’s been working. He had some nice set ups, some little tricks when we were going. He felt strong whenever he tried to put me down. Just stay with it and flow. Keep flowing, keep going with it and I know eventually, I’ll find my spot.

“Initially whenever [the punch] landed, I saw him kind of wobble and stumble. Whenever I saw him wobble like that and go back, I knew to get in and put another one on him and finish him.”

Afterward, Hill served notice that it’s time to take him seriously at 205 pounds, but he wasn’t necessarily taking aim at anybody in particular for doubting him. He just loves proving people wrong and UFC Vegas 48 was evidence of that.

“I just look at it as motivation,” Hill said. It’s not so much as like a chip [on my shoulder]. It don’t bother me one way or the other. It just helps motivate me.”

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