"Steven Marrocco, MMAjunkie.com Feb 23, 12:14 pm EST
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Former UFC lightweight Corey Hill (2-2) continues on his comeback trail when he faces Mark Holst (7-1) at "Xtreme Combat League: Evolution" on March 20 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
It's Hill's second fight since a gruesome leg injury in a December 2008 UFC fight that forced him to sit on the sidelines for 13 months. On Jan. 23, he defeated Jason Trzewieczynski by unanimous decision at an event in upstate New York.
As Hill told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com
) on Monday, the experience of getting back in the cage made his struggles worthwhile.
"That's my sanctuary," he said. "That's my place to gather my thoughts. You can train MMA, but being out there fighting at full speed, knowing that this guy is really trying to kill you, and having all those thoughts and emotions and being able to harness it, it's just awesome."
Hill, rail thin at 6-foot-4 and 155 pounds, suffered a fractured tibia and fibula in the second round of his fight with Dale Hartt at the UFC's "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops" event in Fayetteville, N.C., and had a metal rod and pins surgically implanted in his leg to hold his bones together during the healing process. Bedridden for several months, he began a gradual return to training this past July after he had the pins surgically removed.
The amiable fighter, who entered the UFC after appearing as a contestant on "The Ultimate Fighter 5," said he suffered no leg pain during the Jan. 23 fight or pain in any other part of his body for that matter.
He is, however, critical of his performance.
"I'm happy and grateful for the win, but (there) was … some stuff we worked on that I didn't do as well as I thought I would do," he said. "So I had a little disappointment in some areas. But overall, I felt great."
Hill admits he doesn't know much about his opponent on March 20 other than he's a Muay Thai specialist and the fight is five rounds long (the bout is for the XCL's lightweight championship). He expects a tough fight and nothing less.
As for a return to the UFC, both he and his trainer, Rob Kahn, want to make sure things aren't rushed.
"Of course I want to be back in the big show, but I'm with Rob," Hill said. "We're in this for the long shot. The experience on Jan. 23 was priceless. You couldn't put a price on just the mental side of having an injury and getting back out there.
"When I come back, I want to have no doubt of my ability or talent. So I'm taking my time."
"Xtreme Combat League: Evolution" takes place March 20 at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. UFC veterans Ricco Rodriguez, Jeff Monson and Vinny Magalhaes are also scheduled to appear on the card against opponents to be announced.
Steven Marrocco is a staff reporter for MMAjunkie.com and an MMA contributor for The Vancouver Sun.
Check out more UFC News at MMAjunkie.com. This story originally appeared on MMAjunkie.com and is syndicated on Yahoo! Sports as part of a content-partnership deal between the two sites." Ex-UFC fighter Corey Hill's comeback trail continues March 20 at XCL event - UFC - Yahoo! Sports
Hope this has not been posted yet.