Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 | 4 p.m.
Less than three months after headlining a UFC pay-per-view event for the first time, 34-year old Matt Hamill has decided to retire from mixed martial arts.
Hamill, who was born deaf, made the announcement through his web site Monday afternoon after suffering a second round TKO loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133 Saturday.
“I just don’t have it in me to fight anymore and my last two performances have shown that,” Hamill said in the statement posted to his web site.
Hamill (10-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) faced Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event of UFC 130 on May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, falling by unanimous decision. It was a demoralizing loss after Hamill and his team heavily lobbied the UFC to make the pairing.
Hamill said he wanted to retire after the defeat to Jackson. But advice from coaches and his daughter led him to give fighting one more chance.
When the bout with Gustaffson didn’t go according to plan, Hamill felt it was the right time to step away.
“I can’t continue to fight without having the hunger and desire to do so,” Hamill said. “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 will continue to work and coach with head trainer Duff Holmes at their gym, Mohawk Valley MMA, in Utica, N.Y. He will also focus on promoting “Hamill”, the movie based on his life that’s slated for a fall release, in the immediate future.
“The UFC has become family to me and I hope to be involved with the No. 1 mixed martial arts organization in the world as a coach, ambassador and fan for a long time to come,” Hamill said.
Hamill turned to MMA after winning three national championships in wrestling at Division III Rochester Institute of Technology. His break in the UFC came when the promotion casted him on the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.
Although an injury forced Hamill out of the competition, he stuck with the UFC afterwards and won his first three fights in the company.
Hamill went on to notable wins over UFC veterans Tito Ortiz, Mark Munoz and Keith Jardine. He’s also the only man to hold a victory over current 205-pound champion Jon Jones, albeit a controversial one.
Jones was on the verge of knocking out Hamill in the first round at “The Ultimate Fighter” 10 finale when the official disqualified him for throwing illegal elbows. Hamill has said he doesn’t consider the fight a win.
He came out of the bout with multiple injuries, an unfortunate companion throughout his entire six-year MMA career. Hamill noted the constant pain as one of the main reasons for his retirement.
“There hasn't been even one training camp where I've been able to train without training around an injury,” he said. “I have not been kind to my body and it has nothing left after 28 years of non stop competition.”