Jamahal Hill recently defeated the now-retired Glover Teixeira for the vacant light heavyweight title. Although it hasn’t even been two weeks since he became champion, Hill is already looking ahead to his first title defense, calling for a bout against Magomed Ankalaev.
Speaking to James Lynch of Lynch On Sports, the light heavyweight champion acknowledged that Ankalaev is deserving of a title fight, stating:
“He’s right there at the top so he’s put himself in position to be considered for those things. I’m not just going to sit and be like, ‘he didn’t deserve it’, he’s up at the top. If I’m ready to go and I’m ready to fight, I fight who’s available. I wouldn’t mind knocking him the f**k out just for the simple fact that people keep bringing his name up talking to me.”
Prior to Hill becoming the light heavyweight champion, Ankalaev faced Jan Blachowicz for the vacant title at UFC 282. Despite most fans, and even his opponent, declaring the No.2-ranked light heavyweight as the deserving winner, the bout was ruled a draw. Hill kept his options for his first title defense.
Watch Jamahal Hill discuss facing Magomed Ankalaev for the light heavyweight title below:
Jamahal Hill previously shared that he believes the UFC may overlook Magomed Ankalaev for his first title defense
Magomed Ankalaev voiced his displeasure with the decision at UFC 282 following the fight, stating, through a translator:
“I won that fight. Why didn’t I get my belt? I don’t know what to say… I always do whatever I have to do to adjust. If I’m losing in the standup, I’ll go down to grappling and wrestling. If I’m losing the wrestling, I’ll stand up. I can do both things, but I don’t know if I’m going to fight for this organization again, because honestly, I don’t know what just happened.”
When discussing potential opponents following his UFC 283 victory, Hill stated:
“I don’t really think they feeling Magomed like that. You know, just for the simple fact of how he responded to the decision of it being a draw talking about, ‘I’ll never fight for the UFC’. You know, like, that’s not gonna get you a title shot bro. They might put him through another test.”
Ankalaev later cleared up his comments, claiming that there had been an error in the translation. He noted that he doesn’t want to fight in Las Vegas due to the officiating.
Watch Jamahal Hill’s comments on Magomed Ankalaev below (starting at the 20:51 mark):