Jamahal Hill Dismisses Narrative That Santos Isn’t The Same Guy

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UFC light heavyweight contender Jamahal Hill is preparing for the best version of Thiago Santos at UFC Vegas 59 despite his recent struggles.

Hill faces Santos in the UFC Vegas 59 headliner this Saturday night. The winner moves one step closer to a light heavyweight title shot and puts themselves squarely into the conversation.

Hill and Santos seem to be on two different career trajectories entering this matchup. Hill has earned back-to-back knockouts over Jimmy Crute and Johnny Walker, while Santos has lost four of his last five fights.

Despite the narrative from some fans and pundits that Santos isn’t the intimidating force he once was, Hill feels he’s still a dangerous opponent.

Jamahal Hill Says He’d Beat Thiago Santos That Faced Jon Jones

Jamahal Hill, Thiago Santos
© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

During his UFC Vegas 59 pre-fight press conference, Hill was asked about Santos’ struggles in the Octagon.

“I’m not gonna sit here, be in the gym training ‘oh he’s not who he used to be so I don’t have to worry’. No, I train for him to be the best fighter in the world,” Hill said. That goes with that respect for the game. I’ve heard people say ‘oh he’s not the Thiago he used to be’…if it was the Thiago Santos that stepped in front of Jon Jones I’d still whoop his ass, period. It’s not gonna change what will happen at all.”

Hill made his UFC debut back in 2020 following a knockout over Alexander Poppeck on Dana White‘s Contender Series. He’s surged into the rankings with his lone defeat in his UFC tenure coming against Paul Craig at UFC 263.

Hill is part of a new crop of UFC light heavyweights, including the new champion Jiří Procházka, looking to establish themselves following the Jon Jones/Daniel Cormier era. Santos lost a split decision to Jones at UFC 239 and has struggled to get back on track ever since.

Both Hill and Santos have plenty to prove this weekend at UFC Vegas 59, and Hill feels Santos has plenty left in the tank ahead of the fight.

Do you agree with Jamahal Hill’s take on Thiago Santos?

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