UFC 300: Jamahal Hill Rejects Idea of ‘Tune-up Fight’, Gets Real on Alex Pereira

The former champ attempts to bounce back from a ruptured achilles injury.
Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Jamahal Hill doesn’t need an appetizer, he’s going straight for the main course.

It’s an immediate title shot for the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion as he battles current champ Alex Pereira. The two headline a massive card at UFC 300 on Apr. 13, billed to be one of the biggest MMA events in history.

RELATED: WATCH: UFC, Dana White Unveil Stacked UFC 300 Promo Package (Video)

Hill won the vacant title at UFC 283 in Jan. 2023 with a domination of Pereira’s coach Glover Teixeira. Never losing it to anyone, the Michigan-native did end up relinquishing the belt to keep the division moving after he suffered a torn achilles last summer. 

Pereira would fight former champ Jiri Prochazka (who went through a similar situation as Hill), taking the throne by TKO at UFC 295 in November 2023.

Entering the biggest fight of his life after the injury and a 14-month layoff, Hill was asked by Kevin Iole if he considered taking another fight instead of Pereira to get back in the swing of things.

“Why would another fight be better? It’s still a fight,” Hill answered. “Why would fighting somebody else for less of a prize be better? We're talking the top of the division, so there's danger no matter who you fight. 

“That would be insane waiting like, ‘[Pereira is] just this much more dangerous there’. Is he leaps and bounds ahead of everybody in this division like that? Hell no.”

From his chopping leg kicks to a mighty left hook, Pereira is one of the most feared fighters on the UFC roster today. Just seven fights into his UFC career, the Brazilian has already amassed two-weight champ status.

But, Pereira’s resume isn’t giving ‘Sweet Dreams’ any nightmares at all. 

“Hell no. The fights that he won, the fights that he won, granted, he did win them. I had him beating Jan [Blachowicz], but not by much… on a split decision. The Jiri [Prochazka] fight I thought was stopped early and I thought he was losing that fight until that fight stopped early. So for me to be like, oh, I need a tune up fight before I go fight, like, how is that [a good idea]?

“You don't play fighting,” Hill continued, after hearing how ‘tune-ups’ can work in other sports such as golf. “You go in there and you do it. I'm used to it. I'm right at home. As soon as I get in there, I'm gonna be right at home.”

Parting ways with champ status in July, Jamahal Hill still believes he’s the rightful heir to the light heavyweight throne with Alex Pereira just keeping his seat warm for the meantime.

This number 1 ranked light heavyweight just don't seem right to me," Hill told The Schmo in a recent interview. "True champ. [I'm] the true champ. Just had to have a steward sit on the throne for a little bit. I wasn't well. I believe there's a policy, right? Whenever the president gets sick or he's dealing with some stuff, vice president takes over for a while. Although he is acting as the president, he is not such."

We’ll see just who the real champion is on Apr. 13 in the UFC 300 headliner between Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill.

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Christopher De Santiago


Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist from Gainesville, Texas with years of experience covering MMA.