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Former UFC champ Jamahal Hill defends Achilles-tearing basketball game, undergoes heel repair with Kobe Bryant’s surgeon

“Surgery went great,” Hill wrote on social media. “There’s no doubt I will be back and on a whole next level! I can’t wait for to show once again nothing is impossible!!!”

Jamahal Hill is going under the knife.

“Sweet Dreams” was forced to relinquish his light heavyweight title after rupturing his Achilles tendon while playing basketball during International Fight Week in Las Vegas. Fans were quick to criticize the former champ for shooting hoops, but Hill insists it was part of his regular training regimen.

“I’ve been playing basketball for my entire life,” Hill said in video posted to his YouTube channel (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “It’s a workout that I enjoy. It’s a thing that I use for cardio and to cut weight and things like that. I’ve been doing it for forever. It’s just one of those things, and it just happened. So at that point, it is what it is. A ruptured Achilles can happen a number of ways, and it just so happened to be done this way. I’ve chosen to go with the legendary and highly recommended doctor Neal ElAttrache.”

Dr. ElAttrache is no stranger to UFC injuries, having previously repaired Conor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre, and Francis Ngannou, among others. Fans outside of combat sports may recognize his name for the surgery done on late basketball star Kobe Bryant, who blew out his Achilles tendon in early 2013.

“He’s the same doctor that repaired Kobe Bryant’s Achilles back when he ruptured his Achilles,” Hill continued. “He’s repaired Kelsey Plum’s Achilles, and you’ve seen how she’s come back. The most notable one was the Cam Akers injury. As you know, Cam Akers ruptured his Achilles in the preseason and Dr. ElAttrache and his team was able to have Cam Akers back in five and a half months. He played in the Super Bowl. Not saying that’s the progress that I’m expecting to have, but I’m just saying I’m in the best hands possible.”

A timeline for Hill’s return has yet to be established. In his absence, the promotion is expected to crown a new light heavyweight champion but has yet to commit to a potential date. As of this writing, this pivotal 205-pound affair appears to be the leading candidate; however, nothing is official at this time.

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