Jamahal Hill relinquishes UFC light heavyweight title after ruptured Achilles tendon

There is no longer a champion in the UFC light heavyweight division after Jamahal Hill suffered a serious injury.

Hill (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) announced on Friday that he will be giving up the 205-pound belt after he sustained ruptured Achilles that will require surgery. As as result, the title becomes vacant.

“Everyone knows that I’ve been waiting for months now to face Jiri Prochazka and defend my belt and my title – unfortunately we’re going to have to wait a little bit,” Hill said on his YouTube channel. “I’ve ruptured my achilles. … It’s just one of those things that happens. It’s one that will require surgery and time and rehab and things to be out for a while. Also, with that, I was given an opportunity. I was given an opportunity. Jiri Prochazka was the champion. He suffered an injury, as these things happen and he had to – he gave up the belt and allowed for others to not hold the division up, to keep the division moving forward 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 and focus on my health and make sure that I’m 100 and make sure I’m the fighter that everyone knows I am. In order to do that, I need to focus on getting ready and rehabbing.”

Hill, 32, who won the gold in January with a lopsided unanimous decision win over Glover Teixeira at UFC 283 in Brazil, said he wishes he could have retained the strap for the duration of his recovery, but he understands the situation.

He thanked the UFC brass for their support through the process, and said he’s been assured he will get an opportunity to fight for gold once healthy.

“On my road to recovery, I’ve been promised that I will fight for my title immediately as soon as I am able,” Hill said. “As well as the other things that come with that. Yeah, man. It’s just part of the story.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie