Jamahal Hill wouldn’t mind taking a quick detour to answer the call from a fellow UFC champion after capturing the light heavyweight belt.
Following his victory over Glover Teixeira at UFC 283, Hill made it clear that former champ Jiri Prochazka is his top target for his first title defense. Prochazka currently has a shoulder injury. He hopes to be back by summer but there is a possibility that his recovery may take longer than anticipated. Alex Pereira, UFC Middleweight Champion has offered to take on the challenge if that occurs.
The former two-division GLORY titleholder recently commented on Hill’s Instagram page with a callout for a champion vs. champion showdown, writing, “I heard Prochazka is injured. What about knocking me out?” Pereira captured the 185-pound belt in November with a fifth-round TKO of Israel Adesanya and is a protege of Teixeira’s. So if Pereira wants to try his hand at avenging Teixeira, Hill is more than happy to welcome him to 205 pounds.
“S***, what’s popping? What the f*** you think?” Hill said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “What’s popping? We can get that cracking. If he wants to come on up and try his luck with that s***, come on in. I don’t shy away from anyone, and I do not hide my excitement. It gives me extra incentive to f*** you up.
” I said that I thought I would knock him out, and I believe it. It’s not like I said s ***.. I said that s***. If he feels some type of way about it, show me. I’m in the ‘show me’ business.”
Coincidentally, Hill and Pereira are similar sizes — both stand 6-foot-4 tall with 79-inch reaches. Pereira also held the light heavyweight title in GLORY Kickboxing (209. 4 pounds) as recently as early 2021, so he has plenty of experience fighting in the weight class.
The champion vs. champ matchup would have an easy-sellable storyline due to Pereira’s connections to Teixeira. Hill can also be in it if necessary.
He just doesn’t expect that to actually be the case, especially with an Adesanya rematch and potentially Robert Whittaker also currently waiting in the wings for Pereira.
“I don’t think [it’ll happen] just for the simple fact of, like, I think he would have to defend his title at middleweight first,” Hill said of Pereira.
“I think they want that — they want to keep that division moving. As far as talent, I think our division is great, we just have a bunch of unfortunate circumstances right now with guys being hurt and things like that, so it’s kind of creating a headache, and I don’t think they want to throw the middleweight division into that type of headache. So I think they probably want to keep that one rolling, so he probably defends his belt at least once or twice. He might fight the Izzy again and then likely like Rob Whitaker.
“Because, if Izzy beats him again, and if Izzy beats Izzy again. F*** dude, f*** yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. We do that.”