Jamahal Hill’s UFC light heavyweight title is officially vacated.
Hill (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) suffered an Achilles tendon injury in a pickup basketball game in July which required surgery. He opted to relinquish his belt, which was just made official when Jiri Prochazka (29-3-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Alex Pereira (8-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) were booked in a vacant light heavyweight title bout this week in the UFC 295 co-headliner.
Hill explains how the process went down.
“We’ll see who will sit as the steward on the throne until the king returns,” Hill said on his YouTube channel. “It brings up some feelings. Now, this would officially vacate me as the champion. I believe a lot of people were confused about the process and how that works. The reason being is whenever Jiri vacated the belt, it was pretty much immediate because they already had a fight announced to fill that vacancy.”
Hill was planning on defending his belt against both Prochazka and Pereira, and is bummed out that one of them could be eliminated from the title picture after UFC 295.
“They’re definitely two fighters that I wanted to meet in my reign as champion,” Hil said. “And I do still plan to meet upon my return. I just kind of hate the fact that one kind of has to cancel the other out. For me personally, the best thing that could happen would be like, I don’t know, a controversial type deal, something weird happening.
“I don’t know. So, that way they kind of keep their value intact for both to where I can just come back and do my thing, but it is what it is. I’m healing up, I’m coming along, doing physical therapy twice a day, just getting back to it.”
Hill says he will be in attendance for Prochazka vs. Pereira at Madison Square Garden in New York, and plans on reminding the winner that he’s not going anywhere.
“I plan on being there,” Hill said. “I’m going to go, I’m going to watch, I’m going to see what happens, and I’ll look the next man in the eye and let him see what’s coming. I don’t really have to say nothing. I can give you a look and you know everything you need to know. I just can’t wait to be back.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.