Angela Hill’s Merited Most Significant Career Bout
By James Lee
As UFC strawweight Angela Hill was regarded as an unknown over a year ago, she is now a distinct fan-favourite and her scheduled bout with Michelle Waterson this weekend is the best example of her emergence.
Even six months ago, few expected Hill to be a strawweight contender, never mind listed to be fighting the popular Michelle Waterson. Admittedly, her American counterpart has dropped away from being a title contender, however, Hill is the one who has made up most of the groundwork between the pair.
Crucially though, and aside from ranking status, Hill has become a promoter’s dream and has legitimately earned the high-ranking fight she has been rewarded by the UFC.
Ultimately, the conviction to fight for the fans and organisation during this unprecedented period cannot be undervalued, and it similarly cannot go unstated that all those competing are worthy of the highest recognition internally. As the large majority of global sport has been altered, the UFC are amongst a few that are showcasing frequent and relevant sporting entertainment.
Because of that, those willing to compete with little notice during this uncertain time demand appreciation. In Angela Hill’s case, her willingness to fight on short notice on multiple occasions, especially throughout this period, is rightfully being repaid. That activity remunerated her a fight with former title contender Claudia Gadelha in Jacksonville two months ago. However, Waterson poses a more meaningful venture with the high-profile renown she presents.
As strawweight holds a plethora of talent, Waterson has been amongst those for several years, amassing more attention than many ahead of her. Not only that, her style is unique and will completely contrast to Hill’s muay thai, presenting an old-school style vs style engagement.
Although Hill’s résumé thus far perhaps details her as undeserving of a shot against one of the division’s most popular, her activity as of late makes her worthy. She has already fought three times this year and seven times in the past 18 months, with many of those on short notice.
The UFC crave and therefore reward activity, perhaps even more than octagon success on occasion. The sport was founded and maintained by those who fought against anybody at any time. Without the early 2000s of the best fighting the best consistently, the promotion may never have survived.
Therefore, it is only right Hill is proffered the fight against Waterson and various media roles because like it or not, being a company person serves a purpose in the UFC. As many would wait for what they would deem the ideal fight, the former Invicta champion fights anybody on any notice, and there are few sentiments the UFC appreciates more than that.
Arguably though, the most standout sentiment to note the support behind her is the main event spot awarded to the contest. After the original main event between Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test, Hill and Waterson were bumped up to headline.
Surely, she could not have imagined she would be headlining an event at the beginning of the year, but that and the status of her opponent are unquestionably worthy rewards for her recent enterprise of undeterred action.