Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Despite citing accumulated injuries and career fatigue as reasons for leaving mixed martial arts, light heavyweight Matt Hamill has ended his year-long retirement and will return to the UFC Octagon on September 22nd at UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the news.
Hamill, 35, retired with a formal announcement on August 8, 2011. This came just two days after being stopped by strikes in the second round in his bout Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The loss to Gustafsson was Hamill's second in a row, having dropped a unanimous decision to Quinton Jackson at UFC 130.
"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."
No reason was given explaining what prompted Hamill to return to professional MMA.
The only deaf fighter to have competed in the UFC, Hamill accumulated a 10-4 MMA record with only one fight (a win in his MMA professional debut) outside of the UFC. He rose to prominence on the third season of Spike TV's 'The Ultimate Fighter' as part of Team Ortiz.
An accomplished amateur wrestler, he is a three-time NCAA Division III national champion and earned a gold medal at 2001 Deaflympics. His life was the subject the of movie 'Hamill', released in 2010.
Hollett is 13-3 in his MMA career and a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is making his UFC debut after a career spent competing entirely in Canada, predominantly on regional shows. He holds a victory over UFC veteran Victor Valimaki and most recently fought for Bellator where he defeated John Hawk by split decision in November of 2011.
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