Light heavyweight fighter Jamahal Hill will finally answer the question about his upper-bound limit when he contends for the vacant strap at UFC 283 next month.
“Sweet Dreams,” who is ranked No. 7 in the division per the official UFC standings, and former light heavyweight king Glover Teixeira will square off for gold as the January 21 headliner in Rio de Janeiro. UFC president Dana White announced the fight last weekend after UFC 282. Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev fought for the vacant belt in the night’s main event, but the match was ruled a split draw.
Hill (11-1, 1 N/C) will enter the Octagon riding the momentum of a three-fight KO/TKO streak, which includes victories over Thiago Santos, Johnny Walker and Jimmy Crute. Teixeira (33-8) is coming off a title-losing effort against Jiri Prochazka in June. Prochazka and Teixeira were scheduled to rematch for the belt at UFC 282, but “Denisa” severely injured his shoulder which led to him vacating the belt. Teixeira told SUPER LUTAS that he elected to not take a short-notice fight against Ankalaev, which left him on the sidelines as a spectator.
Teixeira’s loss to Prochazka was preceded by a six-fight win streak that saw him capture the belt last year against Blachowicz.
Hill’s Career Question Will ‘Be Answered’ in Brazil
Hill was featured on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” this week to talk about the opportunity. And in short, Sweet Dreams sees it as the chance for him to find out his true standing among the mixed martial arts elite.
“I feel just blessed,” Hill said to host Ariel Helwani. “There’s some emotions there, just for the simple fact of what I had to do to get here, all the things that I had to endure to get here, all the things that were said, and all the questions I had to answer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind talking about myself, so even back then when I told them, ‘Yeah, I could do that. I could be one of the best in the world. I could be up there at the top, competing for a title,’ and all this and that, and people would look at me, ‘If you could, you wouldn’t be here.’ Then when I started doing it, ‘Oh, you’re never going to be this, you’re never going to be that, you’re never going to do this.’ But I’m here. I’m here. I answered all those questions.
“My biggest fear, my biggest fear for a while was dying without knowing how truly good I was. Without knowing my true potential. And now I get to answer that question. All I ever wanted was to answer that question, and January 21 it’ll be answered.”
Hill Is Happy to Be Living Out His Ambition of Being a Professional Mixed Martial Artist
Whether he fails to earn gold or not, Sweet Dreams said he was happy to be acting out his ambition of being a fighter. Hill also said that having the “how good is he” question answered would satisfy him.
“What kind of life do you want to live?” Hill said. “What do you want to be said whenever your last day does come. What did you do with your time here? Like I said, ‘Oh I could have done this, or I could have done that.’ I had time where I stepped away from MMA and was just working. Working a factory job, not sure if I would ever make it back to this. So that was a question.”
He continued: “You had your dreams, you had your ambition. ‘Man, I really want this. I don’t know if I can live not knowing, not at least trying.’ I get to know. I’m going to be honest, I’m more dangerous in this fight than I’ve ever been, because there is no losing for me. There is no losing in this fight for me, because at the end of the day, I get the answer. Either I was good enough or I wasn’t. And that’s all I ever wanted, from the time I stepped in. To just know.”