Despite forcing a five round decision against the veteran former champion, Glover Teixeira at UFC 283 back in January of this year, Dana White’s Contender Series product, Jamahal Hill sits currently as a betting favorite to defend his title successfully against Czech Republic force, Jiri Prochazka.
Hill, the current undisputed light heavyweight champion, headlined UFC 283 in January on hostile turf in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – landing the vacant division crown with a unanimous decision victory over common-opponent, Teixeira over the course of five rounds.
As for Prochazka, the former Rizin FF champion forced the creation of a vacant title at 205lbs, after he relinquished his light heavyweight title back in December ahead of a scheduled rematch with Teixeira – after he had suffered a debilitating shoulder injury.
The Czech finisher managed to mint himself as the light heavyweight champion inside just three Octagon outings back in June of last year against Minas Gerais veteran, Teixeira – landing a fifth round rear-naked choke win in their Singapore headlining clash.
Riding a four-fight winning run including his light heavyweight title victory over Teixeira, many markets that offer UFC betting odds have placed Hill as a rather impressive -155 betting favorite to retain his title against Prochazka.
As for Prochakza, despite boasting an undefeated Octagon record since landing in the promotion back in 2020, the 30-year-old is sitting currently as what may come as a surprise to some, a +135 betting underdog to recapture his title in an expected clash against Hill before the close of this summer.
29-3-1 as a professional, Prochazka, who landed inaugural Rizin FF gold with a victory over Muhammad Lawal, and then defended the crown against both Fabio Maldonado and C.B. Dollaway – made good on his UFC debut back in July 2020 on ‘Fight Island’.
Drawing one-time title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir, Prochazka finished the Switzerland native with a thunderous second round KO.
Returning in a headlining tilt against multiple-time title challenger, Dominick Reyes – Prochazka lodged a contender for Knockout of the Year in 2021, stopping the Hesperia striker with a devastating second round spinning back-elbow knockout at the Octagon fence.
Maintaining his undefeated UFC record back in June of last year, Prochazka ended the light heavyweight title reign of the above-mentioned, Teixeira with a hail mary fifth round rear-naked choke submission win – sans hooks, to boot.
Himself also defeating Brazilian favorite, Teixeira in his championship coronation under the banner of the UFC, Illinois native, Hill became the first UFC gold holder from Dana White’s Contender Series to land gold inside the Octagon.
Prior to his championship win, however, the 31-year-old record consecutive knockout victories over Jimmy Crute, as well as Brazilian duo, Johnny Walker, and Thiago Santos to earn his chance against Teixeira at UFC 283 in their vacant title showdown in South America.
While an official pairing between Hill and Prochakza has yet to be booked by the organization, reports have suggested the UFC are keen on booking a light heavyweight title fight between the pair before the close of this summer.