Morning Report: Jamahal Hill reacts to Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira vacant light heavyweight title fight
Jamahal Hill is no longer the UFC light heavyweight champion.
The UFC’s 205-pound weight class has been in disarray since its greatest fighter of all-time, Jon Jones, left it behind in early 2020. There have been four different champions in the post-Jones era with a potential fifth on the way this November. The same night Jones looks to successfully defend his recently acquired heavyweight crown against Stipe Miocic, Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira will battle for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 295 on Nov. 11 in Madison Square Garden.
Hill suffered an eerily similar fate to the previous champion Prochazka. Both men sustained bad enough injuries to where they were forced to vacate. For Prochazka, it was a shoulder injury before his Glover Teixeira rematch last December while Hill recently ruptured his achilles. “Sweet Dreams” also earned the title by defeating Teixeira via a unanimous decision at UFC 283 in January. Now, UFC 295 on Nov. 11 will either see Prochazka become a two-time champion or Pereira secure two-weight champion status as the former middleweight title holder.
“It brings up some feelings,” Hill reacted to the fight news on his YouTube channel. “This would officially vacate me as the champion. I believe a lot of people were confused about that process, and reason being: whenever Jiri vacated the belt, it was pretty much immediate because they already had a fight set up to fill that vacancy. [My title is vacated] Now that there’s a fight announced to fight for the title.”
Hill vs. Prochazka was lining up to be the next title tilt at 205 pounds once the former champion was healthy and ready to return. Pereira lost his title at middleweight in April and moved up to light heavyweight, where he met another former champion Jan Blachowicz in July. A hard-fought split decision at the Salt Lake City elevation was enough to launch the powerful “Poatan” into the division’s official top three UFC rankings and earn him a title shot.
After Pereira’s defeat to Israel Adesanya saw him dethroned at middleweight, fans speculated whether or not he’d get an immediate title shot with his move to light heavyweight. Hill was open to the matchup but it ultimately wasn’t meant to be at the time. “Sweet Dreams” will now make the trip to New York CIty to see the action unfold firsthand.
“They’re definitely two fighters that I wanted to meet in my reign as champion,” Hill said. “I do still plan to meet [them] upon my return. I just kind of hate the fact that one kind of has to cancel the other out. For me personally the best thing that could happen would be like, I don’t know, a controversial type deal happening so that way they keep their value intact for both so I can just come back and do my thing. But it is what it is. I’m healing up, I’m coming along, doing physical therapy twice a day, just getting back to it.
“I plan on being there [at the fight]. I’m gonna go, I’m gonna watch, I’m gonna see what happens, and I’ll look the next man in the eye and let him know what’s coming. I don’t got to say nothing, I can just give you a look and you know everything you need to know. I just can’t wait to be back. We’ll see who will sit as the steward on the throne until the king returns.”
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Start ’em young.
✨1 year since Super RIZIN✨
Floyd Mayweather Mikuru Asakura KOUZI Jizzy Nadaka Yoshinari Bandasak Kota Miura Bunchuai
…ft. Manny Pacquiao pic.twitter.com/EXWerDTJYa
— RIZIN FF English (@rizin_English) September 25, 2023
Abu Dhabi ready.
One year ago.
Nazim Sadykhov (9-1) vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (7-3); UFC 295, Nov 11
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Joe Solecki (13-3) vs. Drakkar Klose (13-2-1); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 2
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Light heavyweight has just been an absolutely sloppy yet gorgeous mess since Jon Jones left it in shambles. A division hasn’t quite encapsulated MMA better than 205 since UFC 247.
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