Corey Hill making a comeback
Corey Hill thinks of Dec. 10, 2008 every day.
The 31-year-old lightweight won the first round of his fight with Dale Hartt at UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” and was just getting started in the second when Hartt kicked him in the leg.
Hill did what he usually did back then, which was to answer force with force. He threw a counter leg kick, something to remind Hartt there would be no free throws against him.
When the five-foot-10-inch Hartt checked the right leg of six-foot-four-inch Hill with his left shin, the impact shattered Hill’s tibia and fibula.
Hill spent four months completely bedridden, his leg held together with steel rods and pins, wondering if he’d ever return to fighting.
He was almost completely dependant on his wife during the recovery and experienced severe mood swings dealing with the helplessness of the situation.
“I had the support of my wife and my friends, but mentally, I was like, something’s not right,” Hill told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview. “Why am I laying in bed? I should be out there doing stuff.”
By his and other’s accounts, that get-up-and-go spirit has been the blessing/curse of Hill’s life – he can’t sit still.
It was hard to miss his infectious hunger for learning the fight game on the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Back then, he had fought less than a year and for all intents and purposes had made his professional debut on the show. Afterwards, he did a short stint at Miletich Martial Arts before settling at Gracie Tampa.
“It’s wanting to learn everything overnight and being hard-headed about it,” he said. “I want to learn jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai and I want to learn it by next Wednesday, and it doesn’t work like that. I tell people I’m probably bipolar.”
For Hill, the accident presented a fork in his life’s road – it was a sign to move on, or to push through and reach for his full potential.
In June, two months after rising to his feet again, he got off his “pity potty.”