It has been a dreamy couple of days for the newly crowned light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill after registering a dominant victory over veteran Glover Teixeira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at UFC 283. 'Sweet Dreams' defeated Teixeira via a unanimous decision for the vacant 205lbs throne this weekend.
While flying back from Brazil, the manager of 'Sweet Dreams' revealed a hitherto unseen side of the fighter.
Brian Butler-Au took to Instagram to highlight Hill's modest side. He made a touching post stating that the 31-year-old had never traveled outside of the United States before and felt ill at ease sitting in first class while his teammates were traveling in economy. He posted:
"This was @sweet_dreams_jhill first time ever traveling out of the country… flew to Brazil In economy, and now flying home first class (for the first time ever)… constantly worried about his team in the back part of the plane, saying he doesn’t feel comfortable sitting up here without them." [sic]
"We got served a hot meal and he wanted to make sure they [his teammates] got fed too… he snuck his desert into a napkin and brought it back to his coaches… constantly walking back to check on them. Fans see one side of a fighter and often don’t see the nuances of the person. I’m very proud of Jamahal."
Like most fighters, the American native had humble origins. Regardless of his past, Jamahal Hill has catapulted himself into the spotlight, becoming the UFC light heavyweight champion. Hill has established himself as one of the fiercest and most exciting fighters in the organization after only three years.
What's next for Jamahal Hill after his title victory over Glover Teixeira at UFC 283?
Jamahal Hill has demonstrated what it takes to be a champion, but his path moving forward is fraught with challenges. The competitive 205-pound division has several worthy foes in store for him.
Jiri Prochazka vacated the title in December due to a shoulder injury and aims to return this summer. However, the UFC might have to book a title fight before the former champion is ready to return to the octagon.
Magomed Ankalaev might not be out of the title picture just yet. His UFC 282 main event for the vacant title against Jan Blachowicz ended in a controversial draw. Many still believe the Dagestani deserved to get his hand raised. Hence, Ankalaev might be fighting Hill next.
Moreover, it could be Alex Pereira who gets the next title shot at 205lbs - he has shown a desire to move up and would be eager for vengeance after his mentor's recent defeat against Jamahal Hill.