Of course, many of the better MMA fighters on this planet will tell you that coming back from a loss tells more about a fighter's potential than anything else. In fact, one's championship spirit can really only really be evaluated when adversity hits.
Enter Hamman's second chance against Suganuma at ShoXC's August 15, 2008 event.
There are certainly some things that jump out at you when talking to Hamman. First, he's clearly grounded, respectful, and intelligent. But what also comes through when you get the chance to talk with him is a sense of confidence. It's not in the words so much.
It's in the way that they're said.
MMAFighting.com: How's training been going for you?
Jared Hamman: Training's been going real well. Since the day of
the last fight? I fought Saturday and that Monday I was training again?
(I've been) getting ready for my next match. It was my first loss after
eleven fights, so I was a little bit fired up.
MMAFighting.com: Who have you been training with and where?
Jared Hamman: I train with Vladimir Matyushenko. It's in El Segundo. It's called EMAT. It's an MMA training facility. I've also used (the) boxing at Wildcard, Freddie Roach's gym in Hollywood, an old school boxing place.
MMAFighting.com: Right. Roach was actually working with Andrei Arlovski for his last fight.
Jared Hamman: Right. Andrei and Vladimir are from the same country. So Andrei actually came over to Vladimir's spot . . . I actually got the chance to train with him for a day and get smacked up by him.
MMAFighting.com: Yeah, he's a pretty tough guy for sure. When did you first start training in martial arts and what is your fighting background? I've seen you fight in MMA but I don't really know where it all came from.
Jared Hamman: This November it will be three years (training in martial arts). I played football for nine years. When I was done with college ball I started coaching. I actually was kind of? not bored? but restless, because being an athlete my whole life I needed something to do. (That's when) I stepped into MMA. So I actually started fighting and training at the same time. I don't really have a background. I wrestled one year in high school, I guess you could say. That's about it.
MMAFighting.com: Well, you're a fast study I'd have to say. Out of curiosity, where did you play college football?
Jared Hamman: The University of Redlands.
MMAFighting.com: How would you describe yourself as a fighter?
Jared Hamman: I don't have the experience training most of these guys do. But my coaches have instilled in me, through my football and whatnot, mental toughness, tenacity, and hard work and determination. My coaches have instilled that into me and I've just applied it to mixed martial arts.
I take the basic fundamentals of each aspect of the game. And with my conditioning I'm able to be as successful as I am just based off of that.
MMAFighting.com: After a loss, whether it be a controversial one or not?that last one was somewhat controversial?sometimes fight promotions will choose to have a fighter take another fight before having a guy take on the person they just lost to. Do you see any problems with fighting Suganuma quickly like this or do you prefer it this way?
Jared Hamman: I'm actually glad in that. I'm happy for the fact that Poai took the fight because he didn't have to. He didn't have to take the rematch; he didn't have to fight me. But he agreed to do the rematch and I'm stoked. I'm way stoked. . . It's just a blessing. It's a crazy situation and no matter what you add behind it?I lost but this, I lost but that, I lost but it was a controversy. . . It's still a loss. So in my mind I'm just stoked that God has blessed me with another opportunity to keep on that path.
MMAFighting.com: What do you think of Suganuma?
Jared Hamman: I think he's an upright guy. From what I've read about him he's a teacher. . . I have a huge passion for youth and kids and the fact that he's a teacher, I have a high respect for him. Anyone that would involve themselves in work with kids should be respected.
But I (also) think he trains really hard and he's not one of those fighter type knuckleheads. He actually trains hard and he's a smart fighter and whatnot. Plus he took the rematch so I respect him a lot.
MMAFighting.com: It was a fast fight, the last one, so I don't know if you could've. But did you learn anything from that few seconds in the cage with him?
Jared Hamman: What I've always told my football players (laughing) from the beginning is 'he who hesitates first is the first to get rocked.' And I hesitated. I mean I hesitated for a slight second and you saw what happened?boom, right there. I never hesitate in a fight. I usually throw the first punch. Yeah, it was only fifteen seconds so it's not a whole lot of time.
Some people when they lose they're like 'oh man, I need to work harder; I should've done this or that.' I couldn't have been more ready for that fight. I was in shape and had trained super, super hard. But it was more of a mental change.
That's why I said it was a blessing. I moved from where I was training at to training full time with Vladimir. I ended up moving to LA. Just made some changes professionally that I needed to make. It's kind of set me up for the path to go for the championship belt.
MMAFighting.com: What's it like training with Vladimir? I know he's a really strong guy and a great wrestler.
Jared Hamman: (Laughing) Talk about being frustrating. At times it gets discouraging because you feel like you never win; you can never gain an advantage on the guy because he's so knowledgeable and he's so good at wrestling and sometimes I forget that he's a world- class wrestler. And I actually feel frustrated with myself? 'come on, you suck, you can get better, you can better.' (Then other times) I realize, 'wait a second, this guy is Vladimir Matuyshenko; he's a world- class wrestler.'
But he's an awesome coach, a great guy. . . he's furthered my career and furthered my training so much.
MMAFighting.com: Do you have a prediction for the fight?
Jared Hamman: It's not going to go to a decision. I guarantee that. It's definitely going to end before that bell.
MMAFighting.com: Do you have anything you'd like to say to the fans or anything else you'd like to say, period?
Jared Hamman: Thanks for the continued support despite what happened. Number one is to give God all the glory. That's the thing I didn't do after the fight when I lost. I wanted to give God the glory but I was so mentally flustered I forgot.
MMAFighting.com: Yeah, it's not so easy after something like that and being so disappointed. Number one, thanks for taking the time to talk with me. . . I hope to get the chance to do this with you again in the future.
Jared Hamman: Anytime. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Watch Hamman live on Showtime Friday, August 15 at 11pm ET/PT in the main event of ShoXC: Suganuma vs. Hamman 2 at the Table Mountain Casino in Friant, California.