UFC veteran Corey Hill died Friday at Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital, his manager and coach Patrick Reynolds confirmed with MMAFighting.com. Hill was just 36 years old.
Reports came out Thursday on both UFC.com and TMZ that Hill had died, but the Ultimate Fighter alum was still fighting for his life until Friday afternoon, according to Reynolds, who was with him at the hospital. John Prisco, Hill's former promoter, also confirmed Hill's death in a Facebook post.
Reynolds said Hill suffered cardiac arrest as a result of a collapsed lung.
Hill's wife Lauran told TMZ on Friday that Hill was sick for days with a devastating illness.
"Corey was a loving husband and devoted father," Hill said ... "He was such a strong role model for our children, and would do anything to keep them safe and happy and healthy."
"[He was] a fighter 'til the end."
Hill was a multiple-time Florida state wrestling champion in high school and a two-time national finalist as a junior college wrestler at Colby, where he was also a teammate of UFC star Daniel Cormier.
The lanky, 6-foot-4 Hill (6-9) starred on The Ultimate Fighter 5, defeating Rob Emerson in the first round, but falling to Nate Diaz in the quarterfinals. Hill had three fights in the UFC back in 2008, losing two. In his debut, Hill knocked out Joe Veres in the second round at UFC Fight Night 12 on Jan. 23, 2008. Hill also trained for a time with the legendary Miletich Fighting Systems in Iowa.
Hill was perhaps best known for breaking his leg in a loss to Dale Hartt at UFC Fight for the Troops on Dec. 10, 2008. Hill fractured his shin when Hartt checked a leg kick. Hill came back into the news in December 2013 when Anderson Silva broke his leg against Chris Weidman in a very similar way.
The Florida native was never quite the same after the leg break, but did go on to win four more fights. Hill fought as recently as Feb. 6, losing to Jose Caceres at Fighting Time 23: Mayhem in Miami.