Jamal Hill breaks Achilles, will vacate UFC title

Jamal Hill breaks Achilles, will vacate UFC title

Mark RaimondiESPN staff writerJuly 14, 2023 at 02:30 a.m. ET2 minutes to read

The UFC light heavyweight title is vacant – again.

Jamal Hill, who has been champion for six months, announced Thursday night on his YouTube page that he had ruptured his Achilles tendon and would be relinquishing the belt. In the video, Hill said he was going to have a “moment”.

“If I had my choice, would I be willing to give up the belt?” He said. “No, I won’t. You have to be consistent. I understand, it’s work. The show has to go on. I’m no exception.”

Hill defeated former champion Glover Teixeira at UFC 283 in January to win the then-vacant title. Teixeira was supposed to challenge champion Jerry Prochazka for the belt in December, but Prochazka suffered a shoulder injury and had to forfeit it. Instead of Prochazka vs. Teixeira at UFC 292 in December, the UFC booked a vacant title fight between former champions Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev. That match ended in a draw, leaving the division without a champion until Hill defeated Teixeira.

This is the third time in the past three years that the UFC heavyweight champion has relinquished the title. Ahead of Prochazka and Hill, 205-pound King John Jones vacated the belt in August 2020 with determinations to move up to heavyweight. Jones is now the UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Hill said he appreciated Prochazka giving up the title late last year, rather than keeping it and holding back the division.

“I will do the same,” Hill said. “Right now, the most important thing is to focus on my recovery, focus on getting back to 100 percent.”

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Hill (12-1, 1 NC) has won four in a row, winning fight night rewards on each of those victories. The Chicago native has a 6-1 (1 NC) record in the UFC. Hill, 32, was the first alum of Dana White’s competition streak to become the undisputed UFC champion.

“Sweet Dreams” said the UFC promised him he would get the title upon his return from injury.

“I already know I’m the real champion,” Hill said. “I am the real hero. I can’t wait to prove it.”

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