April 20, 2024

Fans had ‘unrealistic expecations’ says Jamahal Hill


UFC 300: Fans had ‘unrealistic expecations’ says Jamahal Hill
Jamahal Hill at UFC 283. | Leandro Bernardes / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

UFC 300 is now nearly a fully booked fight card. The April 13th PPV event currently has 12 bouts listed, including an official main event between former light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill and current champ Alex Pereira. That fight, alongside Weili Zhang vs. Yan Xiaonan and Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway seems likely to guarantee fans get a thrilling night of action from the UFC.

However, that doesn’t mean everyone is entirely happy with the event. The UFC’s past attempts to pull out all the stops for their 100th and 200th PPV cards have left some fans feeling underwhelmed by a PPV headliner that lacks the kind of dynamic star power of a Conor McGregor, GSP, Jon Jones, or Ronda Rousey.

Jamahal Hill fires back at UFC 300 critics

Never one to ignore the discourse or step back in the face of criticism, Jamahal Hill had some words for fans that might be feeling somewhat shortchanged by his spot in the UFC 300 headliner. In a recent video released to his YouTube channel, ‘Sweet Dreams’ took umbrage with the idea that the upcoming card was anything less than a massive showcase of the promotion’s best talent.

“The reaction to this has been kind of a mix of things and there and whatnot,” Hill explained (transcript via MMA Fighting). “There’s been a lot of outrage, a lot of disappointment and things like that. To be honest, it’s crazy to me, because for the most part a lot of these people are the same people that have spent the better part of a year or however long calling me ‘cry baby.’

But it’s crazy to see how a card can be stacked—the main card literally has a former champion or champion in every single fight and some even facing former champions. In every single fight in the main card, each one of the prelims is worthy of being its own separate main event and people are crying. Like, let’s really be real. It’s really, really crying because you had unreal expectations for something.”

Hill did add that he felt Dana White might be in part to blame, for overselling his main event announcement, but he felt that was likely because the UFC boss really was working on something “that you people would feel is mind-blowing or otherworldly,” but couldn’t get it done.

“I think I saw one comment that said, ‘I was expecting Conor vs. Jesus Himself,’ Hill said. “At this point, now I’m convinced that wouldn’t have been enough. Y’all could have got Mario vs. King Kong, y’all could have got Wolverine vs. Iron Man, you could have gotten anything, Hulk vs. Superman, Spider-Man vs. Batman, you could have got any of this and you wouldn’t have been happy. So all I can say as far as the whole ‘this is a disappointment’ and it not being worthy of this spot and things like that is that’s crazy.”

Jamahal Hill reassures fans he’s healthy for the fight

A major point of concern about the UFC’s decision to go with Hill as the headliner has to come from the severity of the injury that took Hill off his spot as king of the mountain in the first place. Not long after winning UFC gold over Glover Teixeira, Hill ruptured his Achilles tendon in a UFC-organized pick-up basketball game during International Fight Week.

Even Dana White seemed somewhat unsure if Hill was already entirely healthy, telling fans after UFC 298 that he didn’t know how Hill would respond to the injury.

“I don’t know.” White told reporters when asked about Hill’s recovery. “I’m friends with Kelsey Plum from the WNBA — she had the same injury. She came back [from an Achilles tear] and won MVP, a national title. [Hill] has been going to [UFC’s Performance Institute]. She recovered from that injury at [UFC’s Performance Institute]. So, hopefully he’s good.”

As for Hill himself? He says he’s already been sparring and drilling and doesn’t expect to have any problems with his preparations for Pereira.

“Another one of the big questions has been my health, ‘he’s rushing back’ and things like that,” Hill said. “No, I’m not rushing back. I’ve been training, I’ve been sparring, I’ve been at a full go now for a few weeks now. There’s been no setbacks, nothing hindering anything. When I’m saying full go I mean this is me doing everything full speed, full-on like I would when I normally train, so there’s no concerns.

“My Achilles is not an issue, it’s not a problem at all. I’m just ready to go.”

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About the author

Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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