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Josh Hill feels snubbed as Bellator bantamweight grand prix alternate: 'I want in that sh*t'

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Just prior to Josh Hill’s fight Friday night, Bellator announced its tournament field for a bantamweight grand prix that will commence early next year. Excluded from the field of eight 135 pounders was Hill.

So what’d he do about that? He went out and delivered a thunderous one-punch knockout against Jared Scoggins at Bellator 272. Afterward, “Big” John McCarthy revealed that Hill will serve as a tournament alternate. In truth, Hill found out the day before, and he wasn’t pleased.

“I found that sh*t out yesterday,” Hill told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Mohegan Sun Arena. “Sitting down talking with (Raufeon) Stots, and he told me. I was like, ‘Eh, we should do a 16-man tournament.’ With (Kyoji) Horiguchi coming back, it kind of pushed me out of the tournament. I’m the next guy, according to the rankings. So, that sucks. But I want in that sh*t. If anybody drops out or injuries, I’m the guy.”

Hill (21-4 MMA, 3-1 BMMA), 35, has a recent body of work worthy of inclusion, having won five of his past six. He had a four-fight winning streak snapped in May after losing a unanimous decision to Stots.

Does he feel snubbed by his exclusion?

“Yeah, I do,” Hill said. “It’ a stacked division, so I get it. I mean, I don’t know how (James) Gallagher got in before me. That’s my gripe right there. It is what it is, everybody’s good, it’s a deep division, and if it wasn’t so deep I’d be in there for sure.”

As it stands, Hill is out of the mix. He said he’s “always training and always in good shape,” which is what he’ll continue to do in the event he’s needed. Regardless, he’s looking forward to the tournament.

“I’m gonna be tuning in because this division is stacked,” Hill said. “I think it’s the best division in the sport right now and the best one in Bellator. I’ll be ready.”

You can watch Hill’s full post-fight interview in the video above.

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