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Tag: Matt Hamill

Not This Again: Matt Hamill Wants Out of Retirement and a Rematch With Rampage Jackson in Bellator


(“F*ck yeah I’ll watch this again!” — Nobody, ever. Photo via Getty.)

We have lamented at length about Matt Hamill‘s decision to unretire the *first* time and the uninspiring results it garnered, but alas, it appears the TUF 3 alum simply refuses to listen.

That sounded wrong. What I meant to say was that our words have fallen on…goddammit, this was a terrible analogy to use.

Matt Hamill is un-retiring, again, despite recently retiring from MMA (again) due to “a nagging injury” that forced him out of his expected WSOF debut in May. And not only that, but now he’s calling for a rematch with Rampage Jackson in Bellator over Twitter.

“@scottcoker I want a fight with @rampage4real. The Hammer is coming back and want to come to @bellator,” tweeted Hamill last night.

Eesh. Where do we begin…

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And Now He’s Retired (Again): Matt Hamill Hangs ‘Em Up Citing “Nagging Injury”


(via Matt’s FaceBook page.)

Sad but foreseeable news today, as TUF 3 alum, UFC star, and inspirational figure Matt Hamill has called it quits on his MMA career for a second and hopefully final time.

The announcement comes after Hamill was forced out of his World Series of Fighting debut at WSOF 11 with a knee injury, and was made via his Facebook page:

First and foremost, I would like to thank my most loyal fans for standing by me throughout my 10 year career with MMA… All good things must come to an end and I am saddened that the time has come for me to hang up my gloves permanently due to a nagging injury that has never healed and has worsened with time. The memories have been good…. 

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On This Day in MMA History: Jon Jones Tastes Defeat (Kind Of) at the TUF 10 Finale


(Photo via Sherdog)

Ultimate Fighter Finale cards weren’t always so garbage-ass. On December 5th, 2009 — four years ago today — the TUF 10 Finale went down in Las Vegas, with a lineup featuring Jon Jones (before he became light-heavyweight champion), Frankie Edgar (before he became lightweight champion), Kimbo Slice (who was one of the most popular figures in the sport at the time), as well as Roy Nelson, Brendan Schaub, and Matt Mitrione. Today, a UFC card with those names would be sold as a pay-per-view, and it would probably do pretty damn well*. In 2009, this was just another free show on Spike TV, a cable channel that everybody knew how to find. Damn…we just didn’t know how good we had it back then.

Maybe you remember Nelson’s nasty one-shot KO of Schaub at the event, and maybe you remember the 15-minute wheezefest that was Kimbo vs. Houston Alexander. But the reason that the TUF 10 Finale remains infamous four years later is because of a bullshit little rule known as “no 12-to-6 elbows,” which may very well be the most arbitrary and baseless rule in MMA history. Essentially, MMA fighters are allowed to crack each other’s skulls wide open with their ‘bows, either standing or on the ground, but if your elbow is moving vertically downward, you might as well be a villain in a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. My goodness, somebody could actually get injured with those things.

Jon Jones, who was 22 years old at the time, had earned a prime spot on the TUF 10 Finale main card thanks to his 3-0 run in the UFC light-heavyweight division, which included a hilariously madcap decision win against Stephan Bonnar, and a second-round submission of fan-unfavorite Jake O’Brien. This was the pre-backlash Jon Jones, a guy who was universally beloved for his dynamic wrestling ability and his improvisational striking, which he picked up (as the legend goes) from watching YouTube videos. Matt Hamill was supposed to be just another stepping-stone in Jones’s quick rise to the top — a recognizable TUF-guy for him to squash. And that’s exactly what happened, even though Hamill wound up winning the fight on a technicality.

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On Matt Hamill’s Unretirement and Firing: A Lament


(Who saw this coming? We did, that’s who. Photo via Getty.)

Until his initial retirement back in August of 2011, Matt Hamill was considered by most to be a perennial contender at 205 lbs., a fierce grappler with ever-improving striking and a positively inspirational member of the deaf community. While the latter accolade still remains true two years and one unretirement later, the former have seemingly (and sadly) all but vanished in Hamill’s recent octagon appearances.

Following his lackluster decision loss to Quinton Jackson at UFC 130 and a second round drubbing at the hands of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133, Hamill quietly stepped away from the sport, stating:

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 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. 

You see, that’s the thing that has irked us most about Hamill’s decision to unretire (and we’ve mentioned this before) — his retirement, this statement, was just so, appropriate. Hamill seemed self-aware, he seemed content, and most of all, he seemed comfortable with the legacy he had left behind while understanding that his time — as a fighter, at least — had come and gone. It was a mature, thoughtful decision not often reached by most combat sports athletes, let alone MMA fighters. It was closure.

Less than a year after making said decision, Hamill recanted on it. And now, rather than retire with the aforementioned sense of closure, it appears that Hamill has been released by the UFC following his disheartening loss to Thiago Silva at Fight Night 29. God only knows what lies in store for “The Hammer” now.

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UFC Fight Night 29 Aftermath: Shields Edges Out Maia, Palhares and Kim Score Brutal Victories



(Kim vs. Silva: The moment of impact, and the aftermath. / Photos via Getty)

I wouldn’t call yesterday’s UFC Fight Night event a great card, necessarily — the headlining bout was predictably slow, and the main card broadcast dragged in the middle thanks to the light-heavyweights. Still, there were enough violent, surprising, and awful moments at UFC Fight Night 29 to make it worth discussing. So let’s talk about the interesting stuff first, and work our way down to the crap.

Rousimar Palhares may look a little different at welterweight*, but his gameplan hasn’t changed one iota. From the opening bell, Palhares aggressively dove for the legs of Mike Pierce, in an attempt to sink one of his infamous leg-locks. It worked…maybe a little too well. In just 31 seconds, an agonized Mike Pierce was tapping from a heel-hook. As is custom in MMA, the winning fighter is supposed to release his grip and jump up on the cage to do some flexing. But not Rousimar. As he’s done so many times before, Palhares continued to hold the submission for a moment after the referee intervened — which must have seemed like an eternity to poor Mike Pierce.

Rousimar’s heel-hook was the only submission on the card, and would be worthy of a $50,000 Submission of the Night bonus even if there were other subs to compete with. Instead, the UFC decided to withhold the SOTN bonus due to Palhares’s “unsportsmanlike conduct,” and UFC President Dana White claimed that Palhares would receive an additional punishment for his actions. Palhares previously received a 90-day slap on the wrist** for holding a heel-hook against Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111. Maybe the next punishment will be severe enough for him to actually pay attention.

* By the way, when Palhares showed up in the cage, he almost looked like the old Palhares again. Ah, the miracle of rehydration.

** Allegedly.

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UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs. Shields — Live Results and Commentary


(“Alright homey, let’s give these fans what they paid for — 25 minutes of evenly-matched grappling stalemates.” / Photo via Getty)

Let’s be honest, Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields may turn out to be the most piss-break worthy UFC main event since Mousasi vs. Latifi. Luckily, the supporting card for tonight’s UFC Fight Night 29 card is loaded with the kind of action-packed Brazil vs. The World matchups that the local fans go nuts for, including Thiago Silva’s absolute-must-win fight against Matt Hamill, and the freaky welterweight debut of Rousimar Palhares (who was not looking too good at the weigh-ins, by the way). Plus: Breast cancer awareness advocate Erick Silva faces off against Dong Hyun Kim, Fabio Maldonado slugs it out with Joey Beltran, and Brazilian Arianny enters our lives once again.

Handling the play-by-play for the FOX Sports 1 main card is Seth Falvo, who will be stacking live results and his own deep thoughts after the jump beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own thoughts into the comments section.

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Ben vs. Seth: UFC Fight Night 29 Edition

You know how broken-down, piece-of-shit houses are often advertised as “handyman’s specials“? Well, tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night 29 event in Barueri is a “grappler’s wet dream,” headlined by two welterweights known for bringing it to the mat and keeping it there for AS LONG AS IT TAKES!!! (Just trying to stay positive here, guys.) Non-Baruerians can watch the action on FOX Sports 1, and we’ll be livebogging the main card starting at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.

To keep you current on all the important themes surrounding “Maia vs. Shields,” it’s time for CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Seth Falvo to engage in some spirited debate. So how will the main event play out? What’s the best way to make money off the fights? Which fighter on the card is talented enough to be a future Bellator tournament semi-finalist? And which funny GIF will show up at the end of this post? Read on, and please toss your own opinions in the comments section.

Will Demian Maia‘s main event fight against Jake Shields go any differently than his last win against Jon Fitch? And are you already sold on Maia as a future welterweight title contender?

BG: Not all boring grapplers are the same. There can be subtle differences between boring grapplers. Jon Fitch is a guy whose single-minded focus is to take you down and lay on you until the fight ends. Jake Shields will take you down and try to submit you first, and if that’s not working out, then he’ll lay on you until the fight ends.

Here’s another difference — Fitch seems to lose a couple belt-ranks when his opponent manages to scramble onto his back. (Maia and BJ Penn were both able to hang out in back control for long stretches against Fitch, who defended himself well against rear-naked chokes, but was otherwise stuck in position.) Shields tends to be a little more active on the mat than Fitch both offensively and defensively, and unlike Fitch, Jake Shields has never been submitted in his entire career.

I see two possible outcomes here: 1) Maia and Shields recognize each other’s grappling abilities, and proceed to put on the sloppiest, stupidest kickboxing match in recent UFC history. 2) Shields tries to play jiu-jitsu with Maia, and it doesn’t work out too well for him. Either way, I’ve got the Brazilian by decision. Now would that firmly establish Maia as a title threat? Maybe not. Keep in mind that all of Maia’s opponents during his UFC welterweight run have been wrestlers. Give him the winner of UFC 167’s Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald bout after this one, and we’ll see how he handles himself in the deep end of the pool, against guys with the power to turn him upside-down.

SF: Glad to see I’m not the only person around here who has drank more than enough of the Demian Maia Kool-Aid; I’m already sold on him as a legitimate contender. But are we seriously writing off Jake Shields this easily?

I’m not about to write that Jake Shields has great striking or anything, but for a one-dimensional grappler, his Muay Thai is better than it has any business being. Yeah, I know — that’s like writing that The Wrestling Boot Band weren’t that terrible or that Pepsi Jazz was sort-of drinkable — but I’m not ready to say the same thing about Maia. Point being, if this fight stays on the feet, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Jake Shields walk away victorious. And, who knows, Jake may even violate a CagePotato Ban and win by bringing back the old Jake Shields tomorrow night. Anything can happen in a cage fight, bro.

Looking at the gambling odds for this event, what’s the single smartest wager you could make?

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Matt Hamill to be Beaten Back Into Retirement by Thiago Silva at “Fight Night 29″ in Brazil


(Oh, this? Shaving accident.)

If Matt Hamill’s uninspired victory over Roger Hollett at UFC 152 didn’t make him reconsider his decision to hastily unretire from MMA just a year after retiring, perhaps his next fight will.

MMAWeekly is reporting that the TUF 3 alum and 14-fight UFC veteran is currently in talks to face Brazilian slugger Thiago Silva at the tentatively-titled “Fight Night 29″ card that goes down on October 9th. The only other fight currently booked for the card is Erick Silva vs. Dong Hyun Kim.

As much as we respect Hamill’s skills both inside the octagon and around the opposite sex, this matchup worries us, and not just because Brazilians are unstoppable killing machines when fighting in the motherland. Without getting into the age old debate of whether or not retirement should be up to the fighter and the fighter alone, can we all just agree that Hamill’s prime years in the spotlight have come and gone?

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Today in “JERRY RIPS!”: Greg Jackson Finally Loses His Goddamned Mind


(Props: Jerry Rips)

The latest installment of “hilarious UFC audio you weren’t supposed to hear” features bad deaf-jokes, botched game-plans, excessive cursing, and Greg Jackson reaching the absolute limits of human frustration. (As one YouTube commenter already pointed out, Jackson does indeed sound a little like Timothy Treadwell when he’s upset.) Some highlights…

0:00: Some asshole wonders why Matt Hamill needs walkout music if he’s deaf. HA! The joker in question acknowledges that the joke was mean…then repeats it, in case you missed it the first time.
1:10: ”Spread the fuckin’ legs. Fuck. Fuckin’.”
1:53: Hamill’s coach expresses his disappointment in a loving, supportive way.
2:37: “Elbows! Whrrsthgoddmnelbws?? Shut the fuck up. Shut up.”
3:54: “Tito! Get up! Try! You gotta try, Tito!”
4:29: “Well, he wants you to hit him. That’s cool.”
4:49: Donald Cerrone head-kicks Nate Diaz to the mat, then refuses to follow him down, as steam blasts out of Greg Jackson’s ears.
5:23: Donald Cerrone trips Nate Diaz to the mat, then refuses to follow him down, as Greg Jackson has a massive coronary and pisses himself.
5:40: Donald Cerrone trips Nate Diaz to the mat, then refuses to follow him down, as Greg Jackson’s head literally launches off his body.
5:46: “GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! GO FIRST! GO FORWARD! FORWARD!”
6:18: Jackson calls Nate Diaz by his brother’s name, possibly on purpose just to fuck with him.
6:35: Richard. Fucking. Perez.

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CagePotato Ban: MMA Fighters Announcing Their Retirement, Then Immediately Unretiring


(Okay, okay, okay, *you* can do whatever you want, Aleks. Just stop looking at us like that.) 

Earlier today, it was announced that former PRIDE star and perpetual blue-balled can crusher, Aleksander Emelianenko, had signed a multi-fight deal with the Russian organization ProFC. Which would be fine, had Emelianenko not announced his retirement from the sport three months earlier after being shitcanned by M-1 Global. Many of you are probably wondering why we are wasting our time poking fun at a long-since relevant Emelianenko brother when we could be, I dunno, predicting who is most likely to test positive for quaaludes at UFC 159, but Aleks’ recent revelation highlights a growing problem amongst MMA fighters: understanding what the term “retirement” is supposed to mean.

Look, we get it. Everyone from Michael Jordan to Muhammad Ali have announced their retirement from their respective sports in the past, only to recant shortly thereafter. It’s understandable to a degree, especially in the fight game. A guy suffers a couple tough losses, begins to fear for his own health, and decides that it is in his best interest — as well as his family’s — to call it a career before he suffers an injury he cannot come back from. Then, after adjusting to the stale, mundane existence that constitutes the lives of most non-fighters, he begins to convince himself that he’s always had “it,” but has just been held back by issues in his training camp, at home, in their own mind etc. — issues which are now completely behind him. If only it were that simple.

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