Matt Hamill has decided to hang up his gloves. | Photo: Terry Goodlad
Two days after suffering a savage defeat at UFC 133, light heavyweight Matt Hamill has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
“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,” Hamill, 34, wrote in a statement on his official website. “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.”
Hamill’s “last chance” came Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where he faced 24-year-old Alexander Gustafsson on less than one month’s notice, having stepped in to replace the injured Vladimir Matyushenko. After a relatively even opening round, “The Hammer” was nailed by a left hand from the Swede and brutally pounded out with elbows from mount. It was Hamill’s second consecutive loss, as the Ohio native also dropped a short-notice unanimous decision to Quinton Jackson in May.
Hamill, a lifelong wrestler who was born deaf, entered the UFC after taking part in the third season of Spike TV reality show “The Ultimate Fighter.” It was then, Hamill said, that the troubles which would ultimately cause him to retire began.
“My career has been plagued by injuries, starting with ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ and [they have] disrupted my training ever since,” wrote Hamill, who withdrew from the “TUF 3” semifinals due to injury. “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 nonstop competition. It’s time to finally give it a rest.”
Though bowing out of the Octagon, Hamill assured fans that he will not be leaving behind MMA altogether.
“I have fallen in love with the sport of mixed martial arts and I will continue to coach at our gym, Mohawk Valley MMA, alongside my teammates and help the next generation of fighters make it to the UFC,” Hamill said. “The UFC has become family to me and I hope to be involved with the number-one mixed martial arts organization in the world as a coach, ambassador and fan for a long time to come.”
Hamill exits the sport with a record of 10-4, including notable victories over Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine and Mark Munoz. He is the only man to record a win over current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, the result of a December 2009 disqualification.