Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier saw the start of what could be a fight between Jamahal Hill and Alex Pereira.
Immediately after Hill defeated Glover Teixeira for the vacant UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 283 on Saturday, Cormier stepped into the Octagon to conduct post-fight interviews. While interviewing Teixeira, ‘DC’ noticed Pereira sizing up Hill.
Because he was his friend and mentor, some, including Cormier, thought Pereira might want to get some revenge for Teixeira. But before that can happen, the UFC Hall of Famer would prefer the Brazilian to defend his newly acquired UFC middleweight championship first.
“Alex Pereira has the frame of a 205-pounder — a big 205-pounder — but first, and before he can do any of that Jamahal Hill revenge, he’s got to deal with his weight class,” said Cormier on his official YouTube channel. “He’s got to deal with middleweight. But, bro, standing in that Octagon with him the other day, after Glover Teixeira was in there retiring, the way he was glaring at the champion was crazy. He was piercing through Jamahal Hill standing there, just stoic. Big ol’ dude.”
After dethroning Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 this past November, Pereira has thrown out a few names for his first defense. Adesanya and Robert Whittaker are on his list, but Cormier says he may need to add another name: Hill.
“It’s crazy, right? Because Pereira’s got options,” said Cormier. “He’s got so many prospects for championships. This is a guy that many thought was a weak champ. That’s why Khamzat Chimaev was right away saying, ‘I want to fight him at 185.’ But now he’s got Jamahal Hill speaking his name at 205, he’s got Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker on the docket at 185. He’s got options. And I don’t think I would tune out for any of them. Every guy that this man speaks about, I would tune in to watch him.
“Right now must be a great time to be Alex Pereira,” continued Cormier. “That Brazilian powerhouse, that guy that seems to strike fear in most, but excites many. But did you see how he looked at Jamahal Hill? Those eyes would strike fear in most. One guy that’s not afraid though is Hill. That would be an unbelievable fight also.”
Hill and Pereira have expressed interest in a potential champ vs. champ fight. ‘Po Atan’ offered to fill in for Jiří Procházka, the ex-champion who vacated after suffering a serious shoulder injury.
“I heard Procházka is injured,” wrote Pereira on Instagram. “What about knocking me out?”
In response to Pereira, ‘Sweet Dreams’ doubled down on what he said about knocking him out.
“What’s popping? We can get that cracking,” said Hill on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “If he wants to come on up and try his luck with that s—t, come on in. I’m not ducking, I’m not scared of nobody, and I take very seriously the challenges. It gives me extra incentive to f—k you up.”
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)