Angela Hill has spent the majority of her profession coaching for fights.
And whereas she’s been doing that, too, within the leadup to Saturday’s UFC 265 rematch in opposition to Tecia Torres, the strawweight fighter has been within the lab honing a distinct craft: Colour commentary. She’ll strive her hand at that department of broadcasting, after making her studio debut for ESPN’s UFC protection final summer season, as United Kingdom-based Cage Warriors hosts its first California occasion on Sunday at Humphrey’s by the Bay in San Diego.
“You don’t see feminine commentators quite a bit. You don’t hear their voice whereas the combat’s occurring, so I undoubtedly suppose that’s gonna be an fascinating part to this Cage Warriors [event],” Hill just lately informed The Publish by way of Zoom. “And if I do alright, this may be one thing that I do extra usually sooner or later.”
Hill, who relies a brief drive from the location of Cage Warriors 126 that’s headlined by middleweights John Poppie and Kyle Stewart, stated this chance seemingly happened because of her proximity and expertise on digital camera breaking down fights for ESPN of late. That, or possibly common UFC colour commentator Dominick Cruz was “a bit of too costly,” she joked.
Naturally, Hill is a wholesome mixture of nervous and excited for her first likelihood to research the in-cage motion in actual time for a dwell viewers — the primary card airs starting 11 p.m. ET on UFC Struggle Move. To prep for the brand new duties, she’s been watching fights at residence on low quantity, discussing the bouts as they go on with husband Adam Blair Pryde.
“That’s in all probability the best means for me to observe,” Hill stated. “It’s nearly like improv, proper? You need to clarify what you’re seeing but in addition not simply say, ‘He’s throwing a punch. He’s throwing a kick.’ You need to clarify it after which begin speaking about it or speaking about what’s going to occur subsequent or what he ought to do. So, it’s undoubtedly an artwork kind that it’s a must to hone.”
On condition that it’s her colour commentary debut, Hill is lifelike that it may not be a flawless efficiency. However don’t confuse that for insecurity in her skills. Her expertise on ESPN, on podcasts — she at present co-hosts “What Had Occurred Was…” with UFC on ESPN studio host Karyn Bryant — and authentic publicity to the UFC viewers as a solid member and competitor on the twentieth season of “The Final Fighter” all add as much as a veteran of media with a wealth of information concerning the sport.
“I undoubtedly really feel like I’ve the chops for it,” Hill says. “I’ve the moxie for it.”
The hope is that gigs corresponding to this will result in extra alternatives as Hill, 36, plans for all times after preventing. Whereas she’s not in a rush to hold up the gloves but and is driving a powerful 18 months within the octagon — 3-2 with a pair of razor-close break up determination defeats — she likes the “pure transition” the world of MMA broadcasting presents her. She’s received different concepts as effectively, together with opening a bar-gym hybrid that all the time reveals fight sports activities in addition to performing.
However that’s later. For now, Hill (13-9, 5 finishes) has a busy week forward of her between broadcasting and preventing. A couple of days after Cage Warriors, she’ll fly out to Houston to face Torres (12-5, two finishes) for the primary time since 2015, when each had been lower than a 12 months faraway from residing collectively within the “Final Fighter” home.
The bout was initially scheduled for final Dec. 12, however Hill examined optimistic for COVID-19. Torres as a substitute defeated late substitute Sam Hughes within the opponent’s UFC debut, securing her second win in a row that was preceded by a four-fight skid in opposition to elite competitors. However when it got here time to rebook Hill vs. Torres II, Hill says her fellow “TUF” castmate balked.
“She felt like, after profitable two fights in a row, I didn’t need to combat her anymore,” Hill says. “And I assumed that was actually impolite, particularly since we had been imagined to combat and I needed to pull out of the combat actually [on] seven days’ discover.
“…It was only a foolish means of her making an attempt to barter preventing somebody who wasn’t me, who’s possibly increased ranked or who may get her nearer to a title shot. They stated, ‘no, b—h, get again in line,” she provides with fun. “You haven’t completed shit but to be calling the photographs.’”
Hill says Torres, after turning down the matchup at 115 kilos a number of instances, was left with no alternative however to take the combat whereas the remainder of her extra perfect choices had been in any other case occupied. That provides Hill an opportunity to avenge her unanimous determination defeat, which got here in her third professional MMA bout — Torres’ sixth — and at a time when the striking-based strawweight says she had “no wrestling expertise.”
The way in which Hill sees it, Torres is in decline, whereas she nonetheless has some momentum behind her. Extra importantly, she vows she has rounded out her recreation.
“I perceive the sport much more,” Hill says of the distinction between then and now. “I perceive grappling much more. I’m a full MMA fighter, not only a Muay Thai fighter who has a pair sprawls. So, it actually is smart for me.”