This Saturday in Houston, strawweight Angela Hill takes on Brazilian Jessica Andrade in what very well could end up being a number one title contender bout at UFC Fight Night 104. Strangely enough, Hill and Andrade are not the top billed strawweights on the card, despite their superior place in the rankings.
What's up with that? Well, Alexa Grasso and Felice Herrig have the co-main event spot, three fights on top of Hill vs. Andrade. The fearless (and hilarious) Hill proposed a theory as to why Herrig and Grasso are billed higher than her and Andrade.
"...The ones that are there to mainly look cute, they get top billing," she told The MMA Hour (below).
“I think there’s definitely two different weight classes in the strawweight division...“There are a few floaters, there are a few people who are in both. There are people who are there to fight and look professional when they fight and then there are the people who are there to look cute. I think Felice and Grasso actually float between both groups. But the ones that are there to mainly look cute, they get top billing."
#AngelaHill went on to use fellow strawweight Paige VanZant as an illustration. The promising prospect has certainly received promotion and top billing that is not yet commensurate with her accomplishments.
It wasn't long ago that VanZant not only headlined a card against Michelle Waterson over the likes of retiring former world champion Urijah Faber, but also got far more promotion from the UFC than Waterson. Despite VanZant's big push, Waterson finished her quickly in the first round of their bout.
Hill knows that there are plenty of pretty women who can also kick ass, notably herself, but she sees a clear stratification in opportunities and promotion from the UFC based on looks at 115lbs.
“Everyone knows who’s in those categories. Look at VanZant. She headlined maybe two or three events. And she’s lost to the same people that I’ve lost to. It’s strange that you would keep headlining someone unless that was going on. There are two different types. They’re bringing in one to bring the eyes in, but then the other to still look like a legitimate weight class," she concluded.
“I think I can float between both. I think I’m pretty cute, too [Yup - Ed.]. But you know, I’m gonna get the tougher fights as opposed to someone like VanZant, someone like [Kailin] Curran, the people that are there to just bring in eyes and make the sport popular by saying, ‘Oh look, she’s cute and she’s a fighter, too - you’d never guess!’”
Hill's strength of schedule is certainly impressive. Now that she's on a four-fight win streak and facing another top title-contender in Andrade, one can only hope that the winner of their contest this weekend is next in line for a championship fight against queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk.