Jamahal Hill, the UFC’s new light-heavyweight champion, has called out legendary former champion Jon Jones after his world title win over Glover Texeira earlier this month.
Jones, considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, has moved up to heavyweight for his comeback fight on March 4 when he will face Ciryl Gane at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. However, he is known for his fights at 205lb, and Hill would be willing to make the move up to go for a second belt.
First, Hill insists that he will defend his title on a number of occasions before he makes the move up to heavyweight where he would search out Jones. It’s a regular occurrence in the modern UFC for a champion to go up in weight and pursue a second belt, but his focus is currently on his own division before he moves up.
Asked if he would consider making the move to heavyweight to pursue Jones, Hill told Sportskeeda that it was a “dream fight”, and added: “Yeah, it’s never stopped crossing my mind, a thousand per cent. I’ve still got some building to do, I still have defences that I have to make. But is that a challenge that I want for the future? Yes, it is.”
Jones’ return has been pushed back for months, and by the time he faces Gane in Vegas he will have been out of action for over three years. But Hill is confident that he will be able to utilise his superior grappling, in particular chain wrestling, to get himself his first win up at heavyweight.
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“I was expecting him to come back at some point,” Hill said of the return. “I’m just happy that he’s back. I’m a fan and I just can’t wait to watch. It’s a good fight, I think a lot of the things Jon does well, Ciryl Gane does well also. I think Jon’s ability to grapple and mix it in is really good, but so is Ciryl Gane’s.
“I think the one edge that Jon may have is chain wrestling. He’ll have to get him down and I think he’ll actually be able to chain some offence together to get him down. He’ll hold him down and we know how damaging Jon is from top position once you’re on the ground. So it will be good to see.
“I think Jon should be the betting favourite because of what we’ve seen from him and we know his abilities. But I wouldn’t be completely terrified to put my money on Ciryl Gane if the betting odds got too crazy because Ciryl’s kind of still a nasty motherf***er.”