Corey Hill was a former UFC fighter who had a remarkable comeback story after suffering a gruesome leg injury in 2008. He died on May 15, 2015, at the age of 36, due to complications from pneumonia. In this article, we will remember his life and career, and honor his courage and resilience.
From Wrestling to MMA
Corey Hill was born on October 3, 1978, in Martinsburg, West Virginia. He was a standout wrestler in high school and college, winning state championships in Florida and becoming a two-time national finalist. He started training in mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2006, and made his professional debut in 2007.
He gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter, a reality show that featured aspiring MMA fighters competing for a UFC contract. He lied about his record, claiming to be 10-0, when he was actually 2-0 as an amateur. He won his first fight on the show against Rob Emerson, but lost in the quarterfinals to Nate Diaz, who went on to win the season.
The Leg Break
Hill made his official UFC debut in 2008, defeating Joe Veres by TKO. He then faced Justin Buchholz at UFC 86, and lost by rear-naked choke. His third UFC fight was against Dale Hartt at UFC: Fight for the Troops, a charity event for wounded soldiers.
In the second round of the fight, Hill threw a low kick that Hartt checked with his shin. Hill’s right leg snapped in half, bending at a horrific angle. The referee immediately stopped the fight and Hill was taken to the hospital. The injury was one of the most shocking and gruesome in MMA history, and many feared that Hill would never walk again, let alone fight.
Hill underwent several surgeries and a long and painful rehabilitation process. He was out of action for more than a year, but he never gave up on his dream of fighting again. He credited his wife and two children for giving him the strength and motivation to recover.
He made his comeback in 2010, winning a unanimous decision against Jason Trzewieczynski in a regional promotion. He then fought in several other organizations, such as XKL, Shark Fights, and Titan FC. He had mixed results, winning some and losing some, but he always showed his heart and determination.
The Final Fight
Hill’s last fight was on February 15, 2015, against Ryan Thomas at XFC International 9 in Brazil. He lost by TKO in the second round, dropping his record to 6-9. He returned to the US and planned to fight again, but he fell ill with pneumonia. He was hospitalized and put on a ventilator, but his condition worsened. He died on May 15, 2015, surrounded by his family.
Corey Hill was a fighter who overcame a devastating injury and defied the odds. He inspired many people with his courage and perseverance. He was also a loving husband and father, and a respected member of the MMA community. He left behind a legacy of bravery and passion that will not be forgotten.