Last time out, Godinez produced a dominant, grappling-heavy performance in a unanimous decision victory over Ariane Carnelossi. With that in mind, Hill, who most recently lost to grappling-specialist Virna Jandiroba in May, is keen on showing an improved ground game in Pechanga Arena. Beyond fighting earlier than planned and in her adopted hometown of San Diego, the test comes right when Hill felt like she started to figure some stuff out defensively.
“We’ve just been grinding on getting up from bottom,” Hill said. “It’s something I haven’t had to worry about in my last fights. I was usually able to scramble and do things on bottom and get back to my feet when I needed to, but in my Virna fight, I got really stuck, so ever since that, we came back and were working right away. I learned a bunch of new little tricks, a bunch of new little things to go to, and once that started working, I was like, ‘OK, cool. I got this.’ They kind of called right when I was having those light bulbs and realizing I was really ready for this type of fight.”
Although Hill lost five of her last six, it’s important to point out three of those losses (to Amanda Lemos, Claudia Gadelha, Michelle Waterson), all came via split decision, the latter two decisions viewed somewhat debatably.
That said, a loss on the record is still a loss, and just because people around the sport or fans online argue against the judges’ scorecards on Hill’s behalf, it doesn’t take the pain out of the result.
“It stings in a different way,” Hill said. “It’s hard to accept but, at the same time, it makes me work harder to get those finishes. If I hadn’t had those split decisions, then when it counted, like if I were to fight Rose (Namajunas) or Carla (Esparza), and that was a split decision, I’d be a lot more heartbroken than if I’m fighting some girl who is ranked around the same number as me but is not really worth anything but a win bonus. It’s making me work through those things and get closer to being a finisher, so I won’t have to rely on that in the future.”