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Too soon? Questions linger over rushed return of Jamahal Hill for UFC 300 — ‘He tore his Achilles clean off’


Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill will have an opportunity to reclaim his crown when he collides with current 205-pound titleholder Alex Pereira in the UFC 300 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, scheduled for Sat., April 13, 2024 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

But did the promotion rush him back ahead of schedule?

Short-notice showdowns are nothing new at this stage of the game, even for high-stakes title fights. But the 32 year-old Hill is recovering from last summer’s ruptured achilles tendon, an injury that has been known to sidelines athletes for up to a year, depending on the healing process.

Tim Welch, head coach for UFC bantamweight titleholder Sean O’Malley, is currently rehabbing the same injury.

“Jamahal Hill, he tore his Achilles clean off, just like I did, last July, which is nine months ago,” Welch said on YouTube (transcribed by MMA News). “My surgeon told me I’m not gonna be close to 100 percent until 12 months. He’s at nine months! My surgeon said, ‘You’re not gonna be able to run for a full year.’ They say these Achilles tears are worse than ACL (tears).”

Fans accused the promotion of hastily booking the Pereira vs. Hill title fight, suggesting bookers dropped the ball and had no other options for the landmark MMA event.

“I’m really curious with Jamahal Hill, how much rehab and how well he rehabbed this Achilles,” Welch added. “For me, I was able to do everything under the sun. I was able to do stem cells, all the peptides, I ate the best possible (way), a carnivore diet… didn’t get real fat while I was healing this injury. I’m only about 19 weeks out from my surgery and this puppy is still tight… He’s a couple months farther along than me, but I’m really curious, how well did he rehab this puppy? How long ago did he start this fight camp?”

Hill insists his recovery is ahead of schedule.

The 36 year-old Pereira is hoping to defend his light heavyweight title in such a dominant fashion that he’s healthy enough to compete atop the UFC 301 fight card just a few weeks later, where “Poatan” will have the opportunity to perform in front of his hometown fans. According to the Brazilian, Hill does not even rank in his division Top 3.

For the rest of the UFC 300 fight card and PPV lineup click here.

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