Grand Rapids fighter earns UFC contract

Kent County

BYRON CENTER, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids fighter Jamahal Hill is back in West Michigan after a whirlwind week that saw the 28-year-old earn a UFC contract after a TKO victory over Alexander Poppeck on the popular Dana White Contender Series.  

“Originally when the ref jumped in and stopped the fight, I was just hype,” Hill said to 24 Hour News 8 at Black Lion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Byron Center where he trains.  “It took a little while to hit me, but I was just happy I won.”  

“I think I take the nervousness from him. That way he stays cool, calm, and collected,” said Chad Pomeroy, Hill’s head coach. “The next step is to get him back in the gym after his injuries. Get him healed up, back in the gym, and get him focused again.”

That doesn’t sound like it will be a problem. Hill credits his coaches, both Pomeroy and his striking coach Johnny Grigware, for helping his success to this point. 

Hill moved to Grand Rapids when he was 12. He graduated from Rogers High School. After passing on a basketball career at Davenport Hill turned pro in 2017 and is currently undefeated at 6-0.  

“I didn’t have my childhood here,’ Hill said. “But I feel like I became a man here in Grand Rapids.”

Hill is fighting as a light heavyweight. He expects to hear soon where and when his next fight will take place.  

“I’m ambitious. So, my goal is to be the greatest to ever do it,” Hill said.  

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