Hamill has decided to hang up his gloves. | Photo: Terry
Two days after suffering a savage defeat at UFC
, 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
Hamill exits the sport with a record of 10-4, including notable
victories over Tito Ortiz,
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.
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