Five years ago this week, MMATorch.com reported the retirement of Matt Hamill at age 34. He didn’t stay retired, though. He made a comeback on Dec. 22, 2012at UFC 152. It would be his last MMA victory. At UFC Fight Night 29 on Oct. 9, 2013, he lost via decision. After being released from UFC, he wasn’t active until last fall when he fought on a WSOF event on Oct. 17, 2015. He lost that fight. He also lost a fight in Italy this past May. Here is the story of his first retirement and Jamie Penick’s analysis.
After 14 fights and six years in the sport, almost all of which have been spent inside the UFC’s Octagon, Matt Hamill is retiring from mixed martial arts.
The 34-year-old announced his decision on Monday after suffering a brutal TKO loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133 in Philadelphia on Saturday night “Today is a sad day for me,” Hamill wrote on his official website. “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.”
Hamill continued, saying he was prepared to retire after his UFC 130 loss to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. However, he was encouraged to continue by family, friends, coaches and training partners, and gave it one more try at UFC 133. But citing injuries that have plagued his career, Hamill said it’s time for him to walk away as an active competitor.
“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. 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.”
Hamill said he will continue coaching and training other fighters, and hopes to be an ambassador for the UFC and the sport moving forward “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,” Hamill said. “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.”
Penick’s Analysis: It will be sad to see Hamill leave as a fighter, as he has always been someone worth cheering for and has always seemed like a genuinely nice and good person. His story was always something special, and the film about his life, “Hamill,” comes out later this year in theaters. I wish nothing but the best for him in his future endeavors, and can only say thank you to the man for the performances he put forth in the cage and for never being afraid to take on a challenge. He may not have reached the top of the sport, but he accomplished a lot and it was fun to watch him while it lasted. At the same time, it’s great to see him walk out on his terms and make the decision for himself instead of risking further injury and setback in the cage.