Former UFC fighter Corey Hill, 36, has passed away following a sudden bout with pneumonia.

Corey Hills’s Friend Jennifer Swift was the first to reveal the news. She would later go onto reveal the details leading the tragic passing of “The Real Deal.”

Hill (6-9) first rose to prominence during season five of The Ultimate Fighter. During tryouts and production for the show, he told the UFC that he was 4–0, but he was actually 2–0, both wins from amateur bouts. Standing at 6’4″ and competing at 155-pounds, Hill was immediately pegged as one the favorites due to his massive size advantage compared to the other lightweights. He would eventually lose in the semi-finals to the eventual tournament winner Nate Diaz.

Following the taping of the show, Hill earned a spot on the UFC roster with an impressive second round TKO over Joe Veres at UFC Fight Night 12. He would however drop his next bout to Justin Buchholz before suffering one of the most gruesome injuries in UFC history where fans saw his right leg snap in half after throwing a kick that was checked by Dale Hartt.

He would eventually return to action two years later on the smaller circuits but would never reclaim his place in the big leagues.

Update

The UFC released the following statement after Hill’s passing was made official

The UFC family mourns the tragic loss of Corey Hill, who passed away on May 14 due to complications from pneumonia at the age of 36. Fans will remember Corey for his time as a lightweight competitor who fought multiple times for the organization in 2008 and was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter season 5. UFC sends its condolences to the family and friends of Corey Hill.

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.