UFC light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill announced on Thursday night that he ruptured his achilles and will be vacating the light heavyweight title.
Hill made the announcement on his YouTube channel. The video is available above.
Hill (12-1) won the title at UFC 283 when he defeated Glover Teixeira in January. He had hoped to fight Jiri Prochazka, a former champion who himself vacated the belt after suffering an injury in training, but obviously that won’t be happening anytime soon.
“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. 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.
“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.”
Hill was clearly distraught during the video, even breaking down in tears at the end, but injuries are a certainty in a sport like MMA, and Hill is no exception to that.
“The show must go on and I’m not exempt from that. 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, you know. 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.”
Hill said that the UFC is supporting him while he recovers from the injury which could have a timetable of about a year after surgery, and rehab, sometimes longer than that.
“I’m just going to take on the challenge, do what I can do to comeback. I’ll see ya’ll soon.”
With the title vacated the UFC will now have to decide who will step in to fight for the belt.
Hill’s full video is available above.