Yahoo Sports MMA insider Kevin Iole spoke with Jamahal Hill before his upcoming bout against Glover Teixeira at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro.
KEVIN IOLE: What's up, everybody? I am Kevin Iole. UFC 283, January 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is going to be a great card. Two title fights at the top and in the main event I think is going to be a whale of a fight. Just look at the record of the two guys, Glover Teixeira, the former champion, he's always in great fights, and my guest right now, Jamahal Hill. A lot of people might not have expected him to be fighting in this fight, but through a great chain of circumstances here he is. Jamahal, one of the most exciting fighters in the world, Jamahal, welcome. Congratulations on getting this big fight.
JAMAHAL HILL: Thank you, I appreciate it. It's a great opportunity. It was unexpected, but I'm always ready. I'm always ready to fight. That's what I do.
KEVIN IOLE: What do you think of Glover as an opponent? And I know you respect him, but what are the things that you have to be careful of going against a guy like that?
JAMAHAL HILL: I think he's an OG, man. He's dangerous. He's got good hands. He's got really good ground game. He's got good jiu jitsu. He's got good wrestling. He's formidable everywhere. He can give you problems and give you fits everywhere and that's what I like to-- that's what I like to test myself against. And you know, he's been at the top of the game for a while, but I just think it's my time, you know?
KEVIN IOLE: One of the things I think is interesting-- you know, you alluded to Anthony Smith before. You were going to fight him in March. Now he helped train with you. He was your training partner for this. Could he give you-- and he fought Glover in a fight. Anthony, I think is one of the really smart minds in MMA. He's a great announcer. I think he has a tremendous future as a broadcaster. Could he give you any insights into what Glover does well and little tips that you are going to be able to use in this fight?
JAMAHAL HILL: Yeah, 100%. He came in, he shared his experience, he shared what he felt some things about Glover that surprised him, you know, and some things that he felt like, all right, maybe a little clean. He gave a really good description and account for what he dealt with whenever he faced Glover Teixeira.
KEVIN IOLE: Being from Grand Rapids, I mean, all the great fighters that have come out of Grand Rapids, mostly boxers, but Peter Quillin, of course, and then you go Sugar Ray Robinson, the greatest of all time, Floyd Mayweather, and now here you are setting a standard as it. What is it about that area of the world that's producing so many amazing fighters?
JAMAHAL HILL: Grand Rapids isn't that big, you know, and it's just a hunger. You know, just a hunger for wanting more, wanting to do better. You know, we've got a lot of factories here, so a lot of people work just factory jobs, just humble workers, you know? And some of us, we just have a vision for more. We're just hungry for more.
KEVIN IOLE: Do you see-- when you see the success that Mayweather had-- you know, he's making nine figure paychecks, right, you know-- I saw him when he fought Pacquiao that night. He walked over to me after the fight was over and he pulled out of his jacket a check and he holds it up and it's a check for-- I saw it-- $100 million.
And I looked at it, like where do you cash a check like that? But when you see success like that from people who come from a background like you do and who lived and grew up where you grew up, does that fuel your belief in yourself and your ability to do this?
JAMAHAL HILL: Well, I believe in myself always, you know, but it shows what's possible, you know? Floyd definitely laid out a vision and a blueprint for a lot of guys. And they showed-- they opened the door and showed what was possible, you know, just with that work and things like that. And all you got to do is just work and walk through it.
KEVIN IOLE: Well, we wish you good luck January 21 on pay per view from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Jamahal Hill is challenging for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. I wish you the best, Jamahal. Thank you for your time. I appreciate you, brother.
JAMAHAL HILL: Thanks for having me.