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UFC Vegas 59: Jamahal Hill overcomes Thiago Santos to enter title shot conversation

Jamahal Hill made a big statement at UFC Vegas 59 and now the light heavyweight division is on notice.

Hill went toe-to-toe with veteran Thiago Santos, overcoming a good starting performance with dangerous strikes and takedowns in the first three rounds to drop him in a pivotal exchange and then finish him with elbows and punches at 2:31 of Round 4.

With the win, Hill is almost sure take the No. 6 ranking of Santos and enter the title shot conversation. Santos continues his current rough patch with five losses in his last six bouts.

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1556144564725071872

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1556158021251698691

Santos and Hill earned Fight of the Night, while Geoff Neal, Bryan Battle, and Mohammed Usman earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1556152405334470656

The event was only the second in UFC history to register a finish in every contest on the card.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

MAYRA BUENO SILVA DEF. STEPHANIE EGGER VIA SUBMISSION (ARMBAR) R1 1:17

CORY MCKENNA DEF. MIRANDA GRANGER VIA SUBMISSION (VON FLUE CHOKE) R2 1:03

BRYAN BATTLE DEF. TAKASHI SOTO VIA KO (HEADKICK) R1 0:44

MICHAL OLEKSIEJCZUK DEF. SAM ALVEY VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 1:56

MAIN CARD

TERRENCE MCKINNEY VS. ERICK GONZALEZ 

WINNER: TERRENCE MCKINNEY VIA SUBMISSION (RNC) R1 2:17

ANDREWS: A speedy recovery to Ariane Lipski who missed weight and had complications. McKinney gets his chance on the main card and takes full advantage of it. That’s what fighters do.

AUGUSTO SAKAI  VS. SERGEY SPIVAK

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1556108746119692288?s=20

WINNER: SERGEY SPIVAK VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R2 3:42

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SERGEY SPIVAK VIA TKO 

Andrews: Sakai made some changes but they weren’t enough.

BROGAN WALKER-SANCHEZ VS. JULIANA MILLER 

WINNER: JULIANNA MILLER VIA TKO (PUNCHES AND ELBOWS) R3 3:57

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BROGAN WALKER-SANCHEZ VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: All hail the new TUF Queen, Julianna Miller.

ZAC PAUGA VS. MOHAMMED USMAN 

WINNER: MOHAMMED USMAN VIA KO (PUNCHES) R2 0:36

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MOHAMMED USMAN VIA TKO

Andrews: The future looks bright for this newest UFC Usman.

#6 VICENTE LUQUE  VS. #13 GEOFF NEAL 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1556133232508145664

WINNER: GEOFF NEAL VIA KO (PUNCHES) R3 2:01

ANDREWS PREDICTION: VICENTE LUQUE VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Geoff Neal swoops in with the nice stoppage.

MAIN EVENT

#6 THIAGO SANTOS VS. #10 JAMAHAL HILL 

WINNER: JAMAHAL HILL VIA TKO (PUNCHES AND ELBOWS) R4 2:31

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAMAHAL HILL VIA TKO

Andrews: A better performance, but the writing is on the wall for Santos. He can’t retire because he has a child on the way and yet he is not the same fighter he was even a few years ago since the Jones fight. That’s a tough spot to be in. Excellent win for Hill.

The next UFC event is UFC on ESPN 41, which is scheduled for Aug. 13 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Marlon Vera takes on former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz in the main event.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrews
KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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