TUF 5 vet Corey Hill eyes Jan. 23 return to MMA

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Lanky and likable UFC lightweight Corey Hill is preparing to make his return to mixed martial arts for "Raging Wolf" from the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel in Niagara, NY, on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 according to Sherdog.com.

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 contestant sustained a grisly leg fracture when his opponent at UFC Fight Night 16: "Fight for the Troops," Dale Hartt, checked a kick from Hill during their lightweight bout at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., last December.

The fallen fighter was originally expected to be out up to eighteen months after undergoing surgery to repair the fracture, yet Hill was back in the gym just four months later.

From Hill:

"I still had a little bit swelling in my leg, so I was limping around and trying to spar standing against the wall. I was giving my trainer, Rob Kahn, a heart attack. Some days I’d come in and think, 'I’m ready, I’m ready.’ On other days, something would happen and I’d realize I needed more time to learn. The more you learn, the more you earn. We decided that I didn’t just want to come back (to the UFC) to be back. I wanted to come back and make an impact for the rest of my career. What, six or nine more months?"

Hill is still under contract for the UFC and attended the fighter's summit earlier this month; however, the Zuffa higher-ups have apparently agreed to let him ease back into his fighting career by competing on the independent circuit, much like Houston Alexander did back in September.

While no timetable has been established for his Octagon return, expect the UFC brass to keep a close eye on his performance at "Raging Wolf" this January.

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