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Hill said she knows she “needs to be more aggressive,” and it’s something she’s been working on and will put to the test this Saturday against 11th-ranked Amanda Ribas.

“I think she’s gonna come hard, try to take me down pretty quickly, and try to get a quick finish like she did with Paige (VanZant). But I see myself defending those attempts,” Hill explained. “I feel strong about my takedown defense, especially against people who like to do hip throws and judo throws like that, so I feel like I’ll be able to defend it and she’ll have to resort to traditional wrestling, which I also feel pretty strong about.”

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Admittedly for Hill, lacking the ability to defend takedowns while optimizing her striking used to be a huge roadblock in the strawweight’s fights. Entering the UFC with the assumption that she’d “just knock out” all of her opponents proved to be one of Hill’s most prominent exploits.

“You have to train to be more aggressive, for speed and power,” Hill said, reflecting on her growth since her UFC debut. “It’s been like a big mental block for me. I’m always thinking about, ‘What if they shoot on me right now?’ Getting more grappling in has made me less afraid of that. Being comfortable if I get taken down, if I get put on my back, knowing that I can look for submissions or get up or work to the fence, or something like that, and get back to striking without feeling gassed from being stressed out or having all of this anxiety ‘cause I’m on the floor, that’s been a huge part as well.”


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