Hill earned the vacant light heavyweight belt by defeating Teixeira via unanimous decision last Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. He put the finishing touches on his surge to the top of the division with an impressive performance against the UFC legend.
Hill has no shortage of opponents for his first title defense. The former champion, Jiří Procházka, could return in either July or August to challenge Hill for the title.
Pereira, who won the middleweight belt over Israel Adesanya at UFC 281, has teased an eventual move to light heavyweight. A rematch with Adesanya is the most likely option for his next fight, although nothing is formally in the works.
Pereira was in Teixeira’s corner and stared down Hill during the UFC 283 post-fight interviews. This created a perception of a potential Pereira vs. Hill matchup down the line.
During a recent interview with MiddleEasy, Hill warned Pereira against a light-heavyweight move.
“They tell me he (Alex Pereira) might come up [to light heavyweight],” Hill said. “Come on in my boy. Whenever he decides. Oh yeah, I can go up there and f*ck him up. Come on in my boy, all that smoke. I was there [at UFC 281] – I watched [the fight] live. All respect to Izzy (Israel Adesanya), but I’ll knock Pereira the f*ck out” (h/t MMA Mania).
Alex Pereira Challenges Jamahal Hill Following ‘Knockout’ Declaration
In a recent Instagram comment, Pereira responded to Hill’s bold claims.
“I heard prochazka is injured. What about knocking me out?” Pereira replied.
Pereira has fought at middleweight for the entirety of his MMA career but did fight at light heavyweight during his time in Glory Kickboxing. He won the Glory light heavyweight title by defeating Artem Vakhitov in 2021.
A Pereira vs. Hill matchup would put arguably two of the most elite strikers in the UFC against each other. The fight likely wouldn’t feature many ground exchanges, despite Hill’s vastly improved grappling.
If Pereira intends to move up to 205lbs, Hill seems open to welcoming him to the division. Pereira seems confident he can throw Hill’s knockout claims back in his direction.