Jamahal Hill’s UFC Championship reign ends abruptly with a ruptured Achilles injury.
Hill suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during a pre-UFC 290 basketball game, where he was playing alongside Daniel Cormier.
Late Thursday night, Jamahal Hill announced on his YouTube channel that he has ruptured his Achilles and will require surgery. With Hill being out for the foreseeable future, he decided to vacate his light heavyweight title so he can allow the division to move forward as Jiri Prochazka did.
‘Focusing on getting back to 100 Percent’
“I have unfortunately suffered an injury. I’ve ruptured my Achilles’ (tendon). It’s just one of those things that happens, it’s a tough injury,” Hill said on his YouTube channel. “It’s one that will require surgery and will require time and rehab and things for me to be out for a while. Also with that, I was given an opportunity. I was given a blessing that came at the misfortune of someone else. Jiri Prochazka was the champion, he suffered an injury as these things happen.
“He gave up the belt and allowed for others to not hold the division. To keep the division moving forward, to keep entertaining, to make sure the people had a champion. I’ll do the same,” Hill continued. “Right now, the biggest thing is focusing on my recovery, focusing on getting back to 100 percent. I need to take some time to focus on my health and make sure that I’m 100 percent and I’m the fighter that everybody knows who I am and who I’ve been since I’ve stepped into this. In order to do that, I need to focus on healing and getting ready and rehabbing.”
#Breaking — Jamahal Hill announces that he's ruptured his Achilles — he will have surgery and says he will relinquish the UFC light heavyweight title while he recovers.
From what I heard, per sources, the injury occurred at the MMA fighter basketball game ahead of #UFC290
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) July 14, 2023
The news is no doubt disappointing and sends the light heavyweight division into a bit of a mess. Of course, Jiri Prochazka vacated the belt after he suffered a shoulder injury and Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowic fought to a draw for the vacant belt. After they fought for the vacant title, Jamahal Hill and Glover Teixeira fought for the vacant belt and it was Hill who won the title by decision back in January.
As of right now, the UFC has yet to announce its plans for the vacant title. With Jiri Prochazka healthy again, he likely will be one-half of the title fight. Who faces him is uncertain as he could either fight Magomed Ankalaev or the winner of Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira at UFC 291.
However, Jamahal Hill says once he is healthy he will be coming for his belt and plans to reclaim it right away.
“The show must go on and I’m not exempt from that,” Hill said. “I’ve been promised that I will fight for my title immediately as soon as I am able as well as the other things that come with that. It’s just part of the story. No matter what it is, history is going to be written. It’s just part of that history now. It’s just a test. I’m being tested and I will stand up to the challenge as a man and as a champion.”
Jiri Prochazka applauds Jamahal Hill for not stalling the division.
@JamahalH Man, I'm so sorry, I was really looking forward to our Fight. I appreciate your release of the title. Only a person who has experienced this situation can appreciate such a thing.
Who is next?
winner Blachowicz X Pereira or ?#IAMTHECHAMPION ///\\\
— Jiri BJP Prochazka (@jiri_bjp) July 14, 2023
Thanks Champ!!! We will have our dance for sure!!! Hold things down in the mean time and can’t wait to see you across the octagon from me!!! https://t.co/ar2Q36h26K
— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) July 14, 2023