Veteran fighter Matt (The Hammer) Hamill, whose inspirational story of success as a deaf athlete is the subject of a film due out this fall, has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Hamill suffered a second-round TKO last Saturday night at UFC 133 in Philadelphia. He fell to 11-4 after he was bashed and bloodied by Swedish light-heavyweight Alexander (The Mauler) Gustafsson.
“After six years and 13 fights in the UFC I'm ready to hang up my gloves and retire from this amazing sport,” Hamill said in a statement on his website. “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 any more and my last two performances have shown that.”
A powerful wrestler with heavy hands, the 34-year-old American entered the UFC by way of The Ultimate Fighter reality TV show.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hamill lost by decision to Quinton (Rampage) Jackson at UFC 130 in Las Vegas, snapping a five-bout winning streak.
“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 said. “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.”
The film “Hamill,” is in the inspirational story of Hamill, who was born deaf. Directed by Oren Kaplan, it depicts Hamill's youth but focuses mostly on 1997 when — as a sophomore walk-on at the Rochester Institute of Technology, which has a deaf school — he won the first of three NCAA Division 3 wrestling championships.
Hamill said he plans to continue coaching fighters and working on business ventures in the future.