Despite stopping light heavyweight title contender Thiago Santos with fourth-round strikesHill still felt like he made too many mistakes that could have led to disaster rather than the victory he ultimately got.
“I’m happy with the win, but I’m not happy with my performance,” Hill said at the UFC Vegas 59 post-fight press conference. “I have to go back to the drawing board and do a much, much better job. That’s what I’m going to do.
“Always seek to improve. You always have to improve. Still. So even if it’s the smallest thing or it can be something really small and stupid, I still have to improve.
When asked for specifics, Hill pointed to the moments in the fight when he started trading wild blows with Santos on the feet, which could have easily ended with either man heaping on. the Web.
In the end, Santos was the one to soak up the damage on the ground from a knockdown that led to the finish, but Hill knows he didn’t stay calm enough and that could have cost him dearly.
“[I need to] be a little more patient,” Hill explained. “Don’t get drawn into this shootout. I sometimes have this dog in me so I can get sucked into it, so stay disciplined. Stay disciplined.
While it might not be the performance he necessarily wanted, Hill still walked away with a TKO finish against a highly touted light heavyweight contender like Santos that will result in his biggest jump up the rankings. He entered Saturday as the No. 14 fighter at 205 pounds in MMA Fighting World Rankingwhile Santos was No. 12.
“I’m happy to get the win,” Hill said. “I am happy to have been able to represent what accompanies me. I can say I’m tough and this and that all day but I have to show it tonight.
“I expected a war. I expected a man who was at the top and fought in battles at the top, fighting and fighting the best guys not to quit. Don’t back down, don’t give an inch and bring it on. I made mistakes and he made me pay for it. I’m coming. I don’t stop. I don’t know how to stop coming.
Now on a three-fight winning streak in the division, Hill hopes he’ll see an even bigger opponent when he returns to action in the UFC.
The 31-year-old light heavyweight would like nothing more than to see the reigning 205-pound champion Jiri Prochazka standing in front of him because this is a fight he wanted long before the Czech native even won the title.
“I want a shot at Jiri,” Hill said. “I’ve been calling Jiri for about two years now. I want it. I don’t care if he’s the champion. I have twice as many victories as him in this organization. I want it.
“I can’t have him, give me the man who sat on the throne. I’ll take Jan [Blachowicz]. I’m hungry. I want gold. The lion is thirsty for gold. Present or former.
Whether he gets Prochazka, Blachowicz or someone else, Hill wanted one thing to be crystal clear both in his post-fight interview and in his interviews with reporters after the end of the fight. event.
While his record only reads 13 total fights, Hill promises he’s already the rarest breed in the UFC. Because for all the fighters who preceded him, he considers himself as one.
“You’ve never fought someone like me,” Hill proclaimed. “I’ve fought guys who are tough and will come in and throw hard who want to take me down. I fought them all. Have you fought someone as sharp as me? It will hit you. That you’re in danger the whole time you’re up. If you shoot, you will always be in danger. I will not stop.
” You must work. Work Work work. That’s what comes with me. How many of you have experienced this? No matter the situation, I will work. He grabbed my back, got on my back, I’m working. He took me down. I work. He caught me, I work. We picked up, I’m working. We are up, I am working.