In ProMMAnow.com’s UFC 133 play-by-play Saturday night I commented that Hamill (10-4) just does not look like he has been improving and I questioned whether or not the UFC would cut him following his second round TKO loss to Alexander Gustafsson.
Apparently, “The Hammer” saved them the trouble of having to consider that decision.
Hamill, age 34, said he has been plagued with injuries ever since his time on The Ultimate Fighter and every training camp since then he has been “training around an injury”.
Hamill stated he was ready to retire after his unanimous decision loss to Quinton Jackson at UFC 130 in May, but his coaches, family, friends and daughter encouraged him to give it one more try. Unfortunately, it did not work out in his favor.
Hamill was a three-time NCAA Division III wrestling champion and won gold and silver medals at the 2001 Summer Deaflympics. He also holds the unique distinction of being the only person to defeat current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (albeit a disqualification).
“The Hammer” began his pro MMA career in 2005, and aside from his pro debut which he won via TKO, his entire career was spent inside the UFC Octagon. He holds notable victories over such names as Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Mark Munoz, Tim Boetsch and Seth Petruzelli.
It became apparent in his fight with Jackson, and we were reminded in his fight with Gustafsson, that something was just not quite right. Hamill’s takedown attempts seemed half-hearted, and with Jackson he did not want to engage.
Whether it be due to injury, or if his heart is just no longer in it, somewhere along the line Hamill’s progression slowed to a crawl.
“I can’t continue to fight without having the hunger and desire to do so,” Hamill stated. “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.”
Hamill said he will continue to coach at his gym, Mohawk Valley MMA, and “help the next generation of fighters make it to the UFC”. Thanks for the memories “Hammer”, you will be missed.
Because Hamill’s retirement announcement will likely one day be taken down if he closes his website completely, it has been re-printed in its entirety below:
“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.
I want to thank Dana White, Joe Silva Lorenzo Fertitta and everyone at the UFC for the opportunity to make something special out of my life.
Thank you to Duff, Holmes, Bruno Tostes, Dave Kingwater, Renzo Gracie, Tim Greene, Daniel Gracie, Pat Popolizio, Ron Gross, Doug Blubaugh and Mark Dellagrotte.
Thank you to all my training partners who have shared their blood sweat and tears with me along the way. 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.
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.”
-Matt “The Hammer” Hamill