Jamahal Hill has relinquished UFC Light Heavyweight Championship due to an injury.
Hill took to his Youtube Channel late at night on Thursday and said we have to unfortunately wait for his showdown with Jiri Prochazka for a bit longer as he has ruptured his Achilles. Hill also added that the injury will require surgery and rehabilitation.
Hill became the second UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in a row to relinquish the title. Jiri Prochazka vacated the title last year in December just days before his title defense against Glover Teixeira at UFC 282 PPV. Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev then fought for the vacant title at the same event, but the title remained vacant as the fight ended in a draw.
Hill won the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 283 in January by beating former champion Glover Teixeira. Hill was anticipated to defend the title against Prochazka this year whenever Prochazka was to be ready.
In the video, Hill talked about how he was given the opportunity when Prochazka got injured. He said Prochazka gave up the belt to give others the opportunity and he will do the same. He also said his focus right now is on rehabilitation and getting his health back to 100%.
Hill also revealed that he is assured a title shot as soon as he gets fit. He said he is tested right now and will stand to do his best. He thanked UFC for their support on this. He broke down in tears as the video ended.
Hill’s injury has continued the trend for UFC Light Heavyweight Champions not getting past their first title defense since Jon Jones vacated it in 2020. Since Jones has moved on from the division, only Jan Blachowicz has a successful title defense at his name and that too came against Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, who was moving up one weight division.
Blachowicz was dethroned by Glover Teixeira in his second title defense at UFC 267. Jiri Prochazka then beat Teixeira for the title at UFC 275 in his first defense. Prochazka ended up relinquishing the title even before his first defense due to an injury. And now, the same thing has happened to Hill also.