5 Things You Might Not Know About Jamahal Hill
Jamahal Hill entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship on the ground floor and took the elevator straight to the top.
The 31-year-old Chicago native laid claim to the undisputed light heavyweight crown on Jan. 21, when he connected with 232 significant strikes in a five-round unanimous decision over Glover Teixeira in the UFC 283 main event. Hill will carry a four-fight winning streak into his first title defense sometime in 2023. He has delivered seven of his 12 career victories by knockout or technical knockout, with Thiago Santos, Johnny Walker and Jimmy Crute highlighting his list of victims.
As the newly minted Hill awaits word on his next assignment from UFC matchmakers, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He bloomed late.
Hill made his professional mixed martial arts debut at the age of 26 when he took a three-round unanimous decision from Alex Davidson under the KnockOut Promotions banner on Sept. 30, 2017. Less than a year later, he captured the company’s light heavyweight title.
2. His first wound was self-inflicted.
“Sweet Dreams” in May 2020 cut down Klidson Abreu with a knee to the body and follow-up punches at UFC on ESPN 9. However, the Nevada Athletic Commission later overturned the result to a no contest when it announced Hill had tested positive for marijuana.
3. Adversity did not deter him.
Hill suffered his only career setback at UFC 263, where he succumbed to elbows and punches from former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion Paul Craig less than two minutes into their June 12, 2021 encounter, after suffering an arm injury while caught in an armbar. Craig outlanded him 23-1 in the significant strikes department.
4. He was the first of his kind.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Hill became the first Dana White’s Contender Series graduate to claim an undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship title when he battered and outdueled Teixeira to kick off his 2023 campaign. He had booked his trip to the UFC on July 23, 2019, when he put away Alexander Poppeck with punches and elbows in the second round of their pairing on Season 3 of DWCS.
5. Some untapped potential remains.
Hill holds the rank of brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. However, he does not yet have a submission victory to his credit and has not even attempted one in more than 73 minutes of time spent inside the Octagon.