Jamahal ‘Sweet Dreams’ Hill stepped into the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 263 as the -286 betting favorite. But his rapid ascent up the light-heavyweight rankings came to a gruesome halt vs. the Bear Jew Paul Craig.
In the very first round, the Scottish Jiu-jitsu specialist lured Hill into his guard, wound up with an armbar, and after Hill attempted to roll out of the trap, Craig yanked the Illinois native’s arm clean out of its socket.
The sight of Hill’s limb flopping around uncontrollably as he valiantly battled to escape the Bear Jew’s triangle choke left fans at the Gila River stadium – and those of us watching on PPV around the world – wincing in revolt. It was brutal!
Hill and Craig had been anything but amicable towards one another during the pre-fight build-up to the main card opener in Arizona. But few expected such a shocking TKO finish to the bout.
At first glance, it certainly looked as though Hill’s arm was broken. Fortunately for the now 8-1 fighter, it was merely dislocated. The UFC’s fantastic medical team popped the flailing appendage back into its socket backstage, as reported by Joe Rogan live on-air. Something that was later confirmed by Dana White during the post-fight presser.
Hill has since taken to Twitter to provide his own injury update, thanking his fans and the Bear Jew himself for the lesson in Jiu-Jitsu:
“I’m ok!” Hill tweeted. “To the ppl that support me, I love u all!! @PCraigmma thank u for the lesson. I will be back and stronger because of it. This is part of the game.”
Did the Fight Referee Al Guinee let Jamahal Hill down vs. Craig at UFC 263?
There were more than a few viewers and fans in attendance who felt that referee Al Guinee had done Sweet Dreams a real disservice by allowing the fighter to eat blows in a triangle for about half a minute after his arm had been dislocated.
Dana White echoed the sentiment. The UFC president wasn’t shy to call out the match official in the post-fight press conference either, stating:
“When an arm is flopping around like this and going both ways, you should probably stop the fight,”
White would later go on to refer to Guinee as ‘The Arizona Mazzagatti,’ which drew a few laughs in the press room.
One man who was in a more forgiving mood towards the referee was Sweet Dreams Jamahal Hill, who defended Guinee in a separate tweet shortly after the first.
“The ref doesn’t suck. I wasn’t tapping, Hill tweeted. “I was trying to stack but my arm wasn’t there LOL.”
Hill may have suffered his first professional loss this past weekend. But his grit and determination to fight on with a dislocated arm, coupled with previous wins vs the likes of Klidson Abreu & Ovince Saint Preux should keep his stock high.
Not to mention the good spirits in which he accepted the defeat. Plus, the classy defense of a referee who, in my opinion, was at fault.
Sweet Dreams is a class act. We here at FB wish him all the best in his recovery.