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Jamahal Hill relinquishes UFC title after suffering ruptured Achilles in basketball game

UFC 283: Teixeira v Hill Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jamahal Hill is headed for surgery after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon. As a result, he will relinquish his UFC light heavyweight title.

Hill made the announcement via his YouTube channel late Thursday night.

“I have unfortunately suffered an injury,” Hill said. “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.”

Per sources speaking to MMA Fighting on the condition of anonymity, Hill’s injury occurred during a basketball game between several fighters that took place ahead of UFC 290 in Las Vegas.

Hill will have surgery Monday to repair the damage done before his timeline for a return can be determined, according to sources. Typical recovery time for a torn Achilles runs from approximately eight to 12 months, but could stretch longer depending on rehabilitation.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Hill, who became the 205-pound champion with an emphatic victory over Glover Teixeira back in January. Hill earned the shot at the title after Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz fought to a majority draw with a vacant title on the line at UFC 282 following a shoulder injury suffered by former champion Jiri Prochazka.

Now the light heavyweight division is once again left in limbo due to Hill’s injury.

It was expected that Hill would face Prochazka with the light heavyweight title on the line in late 2023, but now those plans have obviously been scrapped.

In his video, Hill said the UFC has supported him with his decision to give up the belt, but he’s been assured that a title shot will be awaiting him when he returns from injury.

“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.”

It remains to be seen what the UFC will do to crown a new light heavyweight champion in the wake of Hill’s injury, although Prochazka is expected back before the end of the year.

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