Angela “Overkill” Hill returns to MMA action tonight against Claudia Gadelha in Jacksonville, Florida. It is the UFC’s third event since COVID-19 pandemic decimated the sports industry.
However, Hill is unique as the UFC’s only African-American female fighter and she knows it.
“I really figured out something about myself. was putting a lot of pressure on myself,” said Hill. “It is hard having that title as first African-American woman in the UFC because you feel like you’re carrying the weight of your people on your shoulders.
“Every loss I felt like oh I let so many people down and its not about that its about you performing and doing your best. Ironically, the less you care about the outcome, the better you do.”
That mentality has her currently on a three-fight win streak with two wins coming via finish. The secret was understanding that she has a process all her own.
“I’ve always felt that I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I started doing Muay Thai at 24. I lot of people in MMA, they’ve been either doing Muay Thai or boxing or jiu-jitsu, usually jiu-jitsu or some type of wrestling but they’ve been doing that since high school. I picked it up at 24 as a hobby and started realizing I was good at it and started beating people who had been training a lot longer than me and eventually it became a profession.”
The Current Challenge
Facing tough-as-nails Brazilian fighter, Claudia Gadelha, Hill will be up against the biggest challenge of her career. This fight can not only cement her status within the division but put the world on notice about her skill set as well.
“I feel that I had a lot of time to prepare for Claudia Gaedelha, a lot of time to work on certain techniques that I want to cinch up for her specifically. We were able to get a bunch of sparring sessions in. I invited some good girls that I know and trust and we were able to really get some good training in. It’s probably the best training i’ve had in a while.”
Hill knows she is in a position to make history as the first African-American female UFC champion and a win over Gadelha can get her closer to that goal.
“Hell yeah! That’s why I’m doing this that’s the ultimate goal. I said it in a bunch of interviews but I think there’s been a narrative change in the last year. Before I felt like I was trying really hard to get something that was never going to happen and it was really weighing me down.
“Once you get to a bigger platform you can get that stage fright again and wonder too much about what happens if. Getting in the cage more often has helped me deal with that mental side of fighting and now I’m fully confident that eventually, I’m going to have that belt. I’m in a really good place right now and I’m just looking forward to this fight so I can prove it to everyone.”