Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is notorious for moving quickly when it comes to booking last-second replacement fights, but have we ever seen a championship title fight booked before current fighters compete for said title have even left the cage?
After a generally disappointing Light Heavyweight title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 that ended in a draw, the UFC has booked a surprise bout between Jamahal Hill and Glover Teixeira at UFC 283. for the same belt. According to Hill, he got the phone call even before Blachowicz and Ankalaev left the cage after their fight.
“Literally, before they even left the cage, my phone rang,” Hill said in an interview with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri. “He was my manager and he let me know they wanted me against Glover for the belt in Rio. I said yes.’
“Right away, initially, I thought six weeks was close,” he continued. “We have to resume our activities. I suffered an injury in my last fight, so I took care of it. I just started getting back into the gym and things like that. We would have liked a little more time but that’s how it is. Six weeks is a long time.
Hill also revealed that the UFC called him when Jiri Prochazka suffered a shoulder injury and he was looking for alternate suitors for their UFC 282 title fight.
“They called me and offered me a number one contender fight against Jan Blachowicz or Magomed,” Hill said. “They said they didn’t know which one it would be for sure. I thought one of them was hurt. They didn’t say it was Jiri. It was in two weeks. Weight reduction and where I was at, it wasn’t going to work.
As for Anthony Smith, who was supposed to fight Hill in March before this post-UFC 282 shakeup?
“I would be a little salty [if I was him]”, admitted Hill. “I would be frustrated, even more with the uncertainty. He wants to fight, he wants to work. We see him all the time. there’s no one for him, so it sucks.
Hill takes on Glover Teixeira for the still vacant 205-pound title on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also on the UFC 283 card: the fourth fight between flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and interim champion Brandon Moreno, and a welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Neil Magny.
For the latest and greatest UFC 283 fight card and rumors, click here.
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