The UFC light heavyweight division is seeing its second consecutive champion forced to vacate his title due to injury. Jamahal Hill announced early Friday morning that he would be relinquishing the title after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon.
"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 in a statement on his YouTube channel. "I've ruptured my Achilles. 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. Jiri Prochazka was the champion, he suffered an injury, as these things happen and 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."
Hill became champion in January when he dominated Glover Teixeira to win the then-vacant title. The belt had been vacated the previous November when Jiri Prochazka suffered a shoulder injury, allowing Hill to slide into the title picture and make a loud statement about his place in the division.
MMA Fighting reported that Hill suffered the injury during a basketball game involving UFC athletes during International Fight Week ahead of UFC 290.
Hill stated in his video that he had been reassured by the UFC that he would fight for the title upon completing his rehab and recovery.
Prochazka responded to the news on Twitter, writing, "Man, I'm so sorry, I was really looking forward to our Fight. I appreciate your release of the title. Only a person who has experienced this situation can appreciate such a thing."