© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News
Victoria’s Michael Hill – a Mixed Martial Arts competitor who fights in the welterweight division (170 pounds) – went into the belly of the beast, took on an opponent everyone else was ducking and subsequently won the fight. It was kind of a big deal. Perhaps it is karma or Newton’s third law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Two years ago, Hill was in Kelowna fighting out of Toshido MMA, taking care of his ailing grandfather who was suffering from cancer. His grandfather didn’t make it, but Hill was, as he says, subsequently “blessed” with a beautiful daughter 10 months ago. Life is good for the Powell River native.
After the 2012 reality TV show, The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson, Hill had demons outside of the game to deal with. He was roundly criticized for his performance on the show, especially during what was one of the most controversial wins by decision in The Ultimate Fighter history against New York native Matt Secor.
It compounded, as he was subsequently betrayed by fellow Canadian housemate Mike Ricci during the quarterfinals. “Coming off the show it was hard to pretend like I won the thing when I knew how bad in my eyes I did,” he told the Vancouver Province in 2013.
Last Friday’s fight card, dubbed, Xcessive Force, took place in Grand Prairie’s TEC Centre on April 15th. “It was a big one! It was a very dangerous fight to take; going into enemy territory. Spencer Jebb was and still is a young, very talented and phenomenal athlete,” said Hill. “He was on what some call an 11-fight winning streak. Going into his hometown wouldn’t be easy. Nobody wanted that fight. Nobody”
Coach Jason Heit of Island MMA put him through his paces; getting the training right, working on tactics, skills and fitness.
“….but I took the fight, and I trained hard for it. We worked on my weaknesses with Jason and his team at Island MMA. We did everything right and that showed in the fight,” said Hill.
During the first round, Hill found his jab and distance early. He countered and let Jebb feel some power. “He took me down, but I got right back up and let him know that wouldn’t work.”
During the second round there was more of the same. “I got a little too comfortable and got lazy with my jab and ran into a huge right hand of his, which looked like to the crowd like I was going out. But instantly took a knee into a take down and fought my way back up. I ended up opening him up with one of the biggest cuts in history of MMA probably; he got 17 stitches after.”
During the third round Hill was feeling comfortable, landing more combinations with kicks and not letting Jebb dictate the pace. Jebb was fading and tried hugging his way out of his fatigue, but Hill butchered him in every angle and chance that he was given.
The judges ruled a split decision. “I am always nervous leaving a decision to judges, but the team knew I had won.”
As for Kelowna, Hill told Victoria Sports News, “Life hasn’t brought me back up there yet. It’s been a struggle, but I think I finally found my place here with my daughter and with Island MMA.”
“I keep in touch with my coach David Lea as best as I can. I’ll always look up to him and have that bond. He was the man who helped shape and mold me into who I am now. He put up with a lot. I’ve been up to help some of his UFC guys get ready , old teammates , and they know I’m always here to help. I am just a phone call away!”