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Hey Matt Hamill, What’s It Like Under the Bus?

(Friendship. It’s a bitch.)

Matt Hamill may not have fought his greatest fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 88, but he went two rounds and change before succumbing to some brutal body kicks. That’s not the outcome you want if you’re Hamill, but there’s no shame in that, right? Not so, says Hamill’s trainer, Duff Holmes (if in fact that is his real name). He blasted Hamill’s performance in an interview with, suggesting that Hamill didn’t have his mind right going into the fight and questioning his “fighting spirit,” among other things:

“I practically begged Matt to take Rich down,” said a clearly frustrated Holmes. “I was screaming at him to stop fighting Rich’s fight and fight his fight. I can’t explain it. He just had this blank look on his face. I don’t know where he was, but the Matt Hamill that I know and trained for the past 11 weeks was not in that octagon on Saturday.”


“Reports that Matt wasn’t able to take Rich down are completely false. Matt didn’t shoot once the whole fight. He didn’t try. Matt Hamill is one of the most physically gifted athletes in the UFC. He has double leg takedown that’s like he’s shot out of a cannon. The guy is an animal; unfortunately that’s not the Matt Hamill that showed up on Saturday. He didn’t work the game plan.”


“I can’t explain it,” said Holmes. “The only person that knows why he didn’t come out to fight is him. I told him after the fight that his performance was uncharacteristic and that he really needed to do some soul searching to see if this is really what he wants to do. He had absolutely no fighting spirit, no killer instinct. He looked like a shell of himself and was just out there to get through it and that is very disconcerting.”


“Rich performed great and showed a lot of class in victory. All his guys, Matt Hume, Neil Rowe, and our buddies Rob Radford and Jorge Grugel all were very gracious and supportive. Matt loves those guys…Matt has this nice guy image, and it’s well deserved. He is truly one of the nicest, most sincere, genuine people you’ll ever meet. I think he got out there and found out that he couldn’t fight his friend. Unfortunately, this information would have been much more useful to us months ago. We would have never taken the fight if we knew that to be the case.”


“As it stands, Matt has too many outside distractions. If he wants to continue fighting and show what he’s capable of, what he shows everyday in practice, the champion that I know he can be, then he needs to do some serious soul searching and see if this is what he really wants to do. Matt lost this fight because of his mentality and nothing else. It was all mental. He let the UFC down, he let his fans down, he let his camp and trainers down and, most importantly, he let himself down. We’re planning on getting him in with a sports psychologist soon to figure this all out.”

Being disappointed in your fighter for not following the game plan? That’s understandable. Bashing him in the media and saying he let everyone down? That seems…counterproductive.

For one thing, that was Hamill’s sixth professional MMA fight. Whatever you think of his wrestling career, the fact is he’s still fairly inexperienced as an MMA fighter. Deviating from the game plan is the type of mistake that inexperienced fighters often make. Franklin has nearly thirty fights to his credit. He’s been a UFC champion and has plenty of big fight experience under his belt. There’s no shame in losing to him. Certainly, Hamill needs to learn from that loss, but how is berating him in public helping him do that?

Bad form, Duff Holmes. Maybe you just wanted people to know that you had constructed a better strategy for your fighter than the one we saw, but it’s not worth further embarrassing him over.

Cagepotato Comments

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Y- September 9, 2008 at 9:00 am
Duff Holmes: "“I was screaming at him to stop fighting Rich’s fight and fight his fight. I can’t explain it. He just had this blank look on his face."

MAYBE BECAUSE HE'S DEAF YOU DUMB FUCK! Dayum his trainer must be straight up retarded.
KTFO- September 9, 2008 at 5:18 am
Can we change Franklin's nickname from "Ace" to "Black eye".
KTFO- September 9, 2008 at 5:14 am
He forgot to mention that Matt's a big dumb stupid head....and he drinks his own pee.
Derly- September 9, 2008 at 2:49 am
I honestly thought it was the leg kicks that were snuffing his takedowns too. I'm sure that was part of Rich's plan. Hamill probably lost a lot of confidence in his takedowns after feeling too many of those kicks.
BIG CHRIS- September 9, 2008 at 2:15 am
Matt Hammil's fiance was saying the same thing....she was going on and on about how he wasn't a good listener and yada, yada.....this just confirmes it...Matt how many different people do you need to hear this kind of criticism from before you become a better listener....
MMA Monkey- September 9, 2008 at 1:50 am
I understand when trainers are disappointed in their fighters. But putting him down in the media saying all kinds of offensive things doesn't really help and is very unprofessional. Anyways, thought Hamill did alright, he received a lot of leg kicks and might have affected his ability to shoot.
mma pro- September 9, 2008 at 1:01 am
so hamill had trouble getting motivated to fight a friend, some people are like that i.e. philo- silva. i think matt thought a cut stoppage was a few punches away. in some states they let you use cuagulent, i think thats how u spell it, anyway a substance that makes cuts scab up real quick so its a lot harder to cet stoppages due to cuts
mma pro- September 9, 2008 at 12:58 am
everytime i take the time to write something i get a page cannot be displayed, but if i write some bullshit real quick it goes right through. pisses me off
mma pro- September 9, 2008 at 12:56 am
damn it
jim smith- September 9, 2008 at 12:29 am
Is it too late to make a joke about screaming at the deaf guy?
Myles Kilometers- September 9, 2008 at 12:24 am
As big of a douche move as that was...he makes a good point.

And that point is...deaf people never listen.
"Classy" Freddie Assy- September 9, 2008 at 12:23 am
Tough love, guys. He's a pro athlete not a kindergardner.
Dagnut- September 9, 2008 at 12:13 am
Easily know he wasn't the one absorbing those body kicks..I think the first one winded him..hard to shoot after that
Duff Holmes is a cunt- September 9, 2008 at 12:10 am
Duff makes all fair points, and I'm sure he is frustrated Hamill didn't follow the gameplan.

But these are points to be made to Matt Hamill, not to the press. What an asshole!
Rich Franklin's Black Eye- September 8, 2008 at 11:58 pm
I was going to make the screaming at the deaf guy joke but I guess you need to be quick around here. Uncool to turn on your fighter like that but he's right. Matt seemed completely lost.
skidding- September 8, 2008 at 11:46 pm
That was a very uncool move for the Duff man.
pd- September 8, 2008 at 11:45 pm
no doubt. i actually thought he was performing really well and the first 2 rounds were pretty close. right now, he just needs to surround himself with positive people who are encouraging and behind him no matter what.
Dakyn- September 8, 2008 at 11:39 pm
What an asshole. Perhaps it escaped Duff's notice but Hamill is actually deaf so

“I was screaming at him to stop fighting Rich’s fight and fight his fight."

might not be the most constructive way to relay urgency.

Duff has only made his self look completely unprofessional in this; I don't know how he can see it helping him or Mat.