(No, Rampage, that’s not a white tiger! Bad Rampage! Down!)
Can MMA fighters just start referring to these so called “retirements” as what they really are (an extended vacation), or do they simply have too much pride? I only ask because, after retiring less than twenty pay-per-views ago (that’s roughly a year in human people time), it appears that TUF 3 light heavyweight alum Matt Hamill will be returning to action at UFC 152, where he will be taking on promotional newcomer and Bellator veteran Roger Hollett.
Being that Matt is one of the more inspirational figures in the sport, not to mention hails from just a few towns away from me, I was initially excited to hear this news. Sure, Matt will probably not be getting his revenge (or whatever you’d call it considering he won) on Jon Jones anytime soon, but he makes for a great addition to any card, and produces good fights for the most part with the occasional skull shattering KO mixed in. However, upon reading over what BG (or at least who I assume was BG, being that I’m the only one who signs his damn posts around here) wrote when Hamill originally announced his retirement, I couldn’t help but reconsider:
Prior to Saturday night, Hamill’s only career losses came against former champions Quinton Jackson and Rich Franklin, as well as his controversial split-decision loss against Michael Bisping…But losing to a mid-level up-and-comer like Gustafsson (Ed note: How things change in a year, amiright?) was apparently the final sign that the game was passing him by. It’s rare to find an MMA fighter who hangs up the gloves before the sport has completely chewed him up. Hats off to Hamill for a fantastic career, and for knowing when to walk away.
Granted, Hammil stated that part of the reason he had decided to retire was due to a “career [that] has been plagued by injuries starting with The Ultimate Fighter and disrupted my training ever since,” so perhaps he has finally had the time to sufficiently heal up. That being said, what do you think of his decision? Will it go the way of Jamie Varner, or is “The Hammer” just setting himself up to get dicknailed?
Prior to the second round loss he suffered at the hands of Gustafsson at UFC 133, Hammil dropped the aforementioned unanimous decision to Jackson in a snoozer at UFC 130, but prior to that, he collected five straight victories over the likes of Keith Jardine (via MD), Tito Ortiz (via UD), and Jon Jones (via DQ) among others. His record currently stands at 10-4, with 6 of those victories coming by way of (T)KO.
Hamill will be squaring off against 13-3 Roger “The Hulk” Hollett, who has put together a five fight win streak of his own over the past three years. Though he doesn’t hold many notable victories to his credit, Hollett most recently scored a split decision victory over John Hawk in his Bellator debut last November. Upon doing a little research, I found that John is in no way related to Lincoln Hawk, who would have totally thrown Hollett through a glass door on his way to the ring and that would’ve been the end of it. So……there’s that.
Who you like for this one?