Matt Hamill UFC retires retirement” src=”http://www.cagedinsider.com/wp-content/images/mma/2011/01/matt-hamill.jpg” alt=” width=”500″ height=”333″ />
(Photo via CagedInsider)
After a 9-4 UFC run that included impressive victories over Mark Munoz, Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Tim Boetsch, and Seth Petruzelli, light-heavyweight contender Matt Hamill has confirmed that he is retiring from MMA competition. The TUF 3 castmember and inspirational figure made the announcement on his website today, in the wake of his TKO loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133. As Hamill wrote:
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.
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. (There was also his DQ “victory” against future champ Jon Jones.) But losing to a mid-level up-and-comer like Gustafsson 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.