The uplifting story of Matt Hamill’s rise to become the first deaf athlete to grace the Octagon appears to be ending on a sad note. After dropping back-to-back fights including a second round beatdown to Alexander Gustafsson last weekend at UFC 133, the 34-year old Ohio native has announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts while admitting he no longer has the necessary fire in his gut to keep competing.
Hamill explained his decision through a message on his website where he wrote, “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,” he continued. “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 can’t continue to fight without having the hunger and desire to do so.”
Rather than being a purely emotional reaction to his loss to Gustafsson, a match-up he agreed to on late notice, “The Hammer” stated he’d actually planned to hang up his gloves after being outpointed by Quinton Jackson at UFC 130 but was convinced by his friends, family, and coaches to give fighting one more shot to make sure.
The light heavyweight concluded his statement by saying he would continue coaching and offered his appreciation to his bosses at the UFC for giving him an opportunity, as well as the trainers and teammates helping him evolve as a fighter, but saved his most heartfelt thanks for another group of people.
“Thank you to all my friends and family for their unconditional support and most of all thank you to my fans! It’s the fans that have made this the truly special experience it has been.”
Hamill exits the sport with a 10-4 record with nine of the wins coming under the UFC banner including success against Tim Boetsch, Seth Petruzelli, Mark Munoz, Keith Jardine, and Tito Ortiz.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC