05-21-15. By JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com
It was a sad day on Friday, May 15, 2015 when I got the news that former TUF 5 and UFC Vet Corey Hill had passed away. Hill was one of the main reasons I watched TUF 5 which was all Lightweights that seasons. His massive frame, at 6’6, and paring it down to the limit of 155lbs. was amazing. Hill had one fight before making it onto the TUF. In that one fight, he showed off his skills and that he had learned everything necessary to make it into the UFC.
Hill made it to the quarterfinals of TUF but lost to TUF 5 winner, Nate Diaz. After that fight, Hill trained hard and continued learning the sport. Hill got to meet Jeremy Horn who is a true living legend of MMA. When they met, they hit it off right away. Horn even offered to train Hill after the show ended because Horn saw potential in Hill.
After the TUF show ended, Hill got his chance to fight in the UFC at UFC Fight Night 12. Hill won by KO but lost his next two fights. In Hill’s last fight in the UFC, he took on Dale Hartt and this was a must-win situation for both fighters. Hill was doing very well in the first round but in the second round we saw something terrible happen. Hill was doing a roundhouse kick to Hartt’s leg and Hartt saw it coming. He checked the kick and, in doing so, Hill’s leg broke in two right there in the cage. It was one of the worst breaks we have seen in MMA and that was Hill’s last appearance in the cage for the UFC.
After recovering and training to get better, Hill returned to fighting at Lightweight. He soon discovered that it was getting harder for him to make that weight. As a result, on December 2, 2011, Hill made his Welterweight debut and was amazing by winning by submission. He did it again in a second fight at 170lbs. It looked as if Hill had found his home in the Welterweight division.
Everyone thought that Hill was going to get another shot at the UFC but Hill ran into some tough fights and lost 4 in a row reducing his record to 6-9-0. But, never one to back down or quit just because of an upside-down record, Hill wanted to keep fighting and become a champion. But that all came to a halt in May when Hill suddenly came down with pneumonia and had a heart attack.
Everyone talks about Hill and about how he was a great talent as well as being very entertaining. And he was. I am going to miss his fights along with the promos he loved doing. I could have seen Hill a champion in some other places for sure, but making it back in the UFC was what Hill wanted more then anything else.
As a fight fan, I think Hill is one of those men who will always be stuck in your mind as the fighter who could have been a champion. For me, he will always be the fighter who made it to the UFC with just one fight under his belt.
Hill leaves behind a wife and 3 kids to whom I want to say that I am very sorry for your loss and I offer you my deepest condolences.
RIP Corey “The Real Deal” Hill. You keep on fighting.
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