“I saw it when he went down and I thought I was seeing things.”
Those were the words of UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan, who, like the crowd of U.S. Troops at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., was left stunned from witnessing the grotesque break that Corey Hill suffered when his leg kick was checked by opponent Dale Hartt.
Hill underwent surgery on his broken right leg on Thursday morning. According to UFC.com, he is reportedly doing well and is likely to be out of commission in the neighborhood of 18 months.
In an interview prior to the fight, Hartt told MMAWeekly.com, “I need to get back to my roots. For me to be successful in the UFC, I have to get back to my roots and not worry about my fights being exciting. I need to not worry about the result. I need to just worry about the journey; I need to worry about the road. I’m going to go in there and I’m going to have a good time.”
Hartt managed to get the win that he had been searching for, but it surely didn’t come the way he had hoped, nor did he likely have a good time. But he did show a lot of respect for Hill in staying by his side in the Octagon and in his post-fight comments.
“Well, to be honest with you, me and Corey, we cut weight together. We been talkin’ the whole time. Corey’s an awesome dude,” he said to Rogan. “I wanted to beat him with every bit of my heart, but I don’t want to see him like this, man.”
You couldn’t ask for a more appropriate response after such a horrendous incident.
Dale Hartt carried himself with the class, dignity, and honor that both the U.S. Troops in attendance command and Corey Hill deserves.