"Today is a sad day for me," Hamill announced Monday 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."
Hamill is coming off a loss this past Saturday at UFC 133 against Alexander Gustafsson, a fight, Hamill revealed in his statement, that he had to be talked into.
"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," Hamill continued. "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 nonstop competition. It's time to finally give it a rest."
Hamill first stood out in 2006 on season three of The Ultimate Fighter as a deaf competitor under the tutelage of Tito Ortiz. Although Hamill bowed out of the television competition due to injury, he turned around and won his fight on the finale card, kicking start a 12-fight career with the UFC that would last five years.
Hamill, who finishes his career with a record of 9-4 in the UFC and 10-4 overall, scored the biggest win of his career last October when he outpointed former coach Ortiz at UFC 121. On paper, Hamill is responsible for current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones' only loss, but it was a fight Hamill won due to Jones' illegal elbows in a fight Hamill was clearly losing.
Even though he's retiring, he'll remain in the public eye for a little bit longer. A Hamill biopic premiered last year in festivals and is slated to be released commercially later this year. The film covers Hamill's road to a Division III title in 1997 as a sophomore walk-on at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
The complete statement is below:
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.
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.
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. The UFC has become family to me and I hope to be involved with the number one mixed martial arts organization in the world as a coach, ambassador and fan for a long time to come.
-Matt "The Hammer" Hamill
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