Former UFC lightweight Corey Hill has been hospitalized due to fungal pneumonia, and is “fighting for his life,” according to family members.
Lauran Hill, the fighter’s wife, is quoted at BloodyElbow.com: “My husband is fighting for his life. We want everyone keeping him in their prayers.”
Earlier in the day, several sources actually reported that Hill had lost actually his battle with the ailment.
UFC.com even published a eulogy to the fighter. The article quoted Hill’s onetime trainer Pat Miletich confirming Hill’s passing, describing the Florida native as someone who would “light up the room.”
But Militech’s source — said to be a family member — proved to be incorrect.
Holy shit, Corey is still fighting. My sources were wrong thankfully.
— Pat Miletich (@patmiletich) May 14, 2015
The article has since been taken down.
A former collegiate wrestler, Hill rose to prominence in MMA with an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter’s fifth season. At 6’4″ he towered over the rest of the cast of lightweights, and his colorful personality — including an aggressive alter ego he dubbed “Buddy Roe” — was among the most memorable.
In the competition, Hill defeated the more experienced Robert Emerson by decision in his first bout, before losing to eventual champion Nate Diaz.
Hill fell victim to a horrific injury in his third official UFC bout, in 2008. A checked kick left Hill with a broken leg, keeping him out of competition for more than a year. But he came back and quietly continued his career, most recently competing for FightTime promotion in his native Florida back in February of this year.