Make no mistake, in the history of MMA Matt Hamill will go down as one of the most inspiration fighters ever to lace up the gloves. In fact, Hamill should be remembered as a pioneer in the sport. He displayed that no matter what the handicap, hard work and dedication can propel you to great things. So in a way, it’s a bit depressing that the born-deaf Hamill just announced his retirement from the UFC following his loss to Alexander Gustaffson this past weekend at UFC 133. Hamill broke the news to the world by releasing a statement on his website.
Today is a sad day for me. After six years and 13 fights in the UFC I'm ready to hang up my gloves and retire from this amazing sport.
The UFC has been extremely good to me and given me an opportunity to make a great living. That exposure has allowed me options outside the Octagon as well. I just don't have it in me to fight anymore and my last two performances have shown that.
I was ready to make this decision after UFC 130 but my friends, family coaches and most importantly my daughter encouraged me to give it one last chance. My career has been plagued by injuries starting with The Ultimate Fighter and disrupted my training ever since.
There hasn't been even one training camp where I've been able to train without training around an injury. I have not been kind to my body and it has nothing left after 28 years of non stop competition. It's time to finally give it a rest.
I can't continue to fight without having the hunger and desire to do so. I can't let my performances reflect on my coaches who are the best in the world and the reason I've made it this far.
I have fallen in love with the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and I will continue to coach at our gym Mohawk Valley MMA along side my teammates and help the next generation of fighters make it to the UFC. I also look forward to continuing my business ventures outside the UFC including "Hamill" the movie based on my life story set to be released this fall.
Hamill is a good guy and you can’t but help to root for the man to have nothing but success in any and all endeavors he wishes to partake in. But, let’s be honest, we’re not exactly going to miss him in the cage.
Hamill is first and foremost a wrestler. Granted, he is arguably one of the best wrestlers to ever fight in the Octagon, but like many standout wrestlers who transition into MMA, Hamill went to his preferred repertoire more often than not. His style was that of wrestle first, everything else second. Not to say that he didn’t exploit this talent to optimum effect. Hell, Hamill holds wins over Tito Ortiz, Mark Munoz, and Keith Jardine (back when Jardine was considered good). If you want to get technical, Hamill is credited with a victory over Jon Jones, though it must be noted that he was getting dominated by Jones before the 12-6 elbow allowed Hamill to walk away with a DQ victory.
But Hamill was never a fighter I would chomp at the bit to watch fight. I’m sorry; his style just wasn’t tailored to my liking. Nothing against wrestlers, but the ones who fail to refine and retool their skill sets in order to compete in MMA leaves me reaching for the fast forward button on my remote.
Hamill will always be remembered, as he should, as a great inspirational figure for anyone who has to overcome a form of handicap. Hell, he’s an inspiration to those who don’t have a handicap as his story is one of reward through hard work.