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Matt Hamill Bio

Matthew Stanley Hamill (born October 5, 1976) is a deaf American mixed martial artist and wrestler who has competed in the Light Heavyweight division of the UFC. He is a three-time NCAA Division III National Champion in wrestling (167lb class in 1997, 190lb class in 1998 and 197lb class in 1999) while attending the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York. Hamill also has a silver medal in Greco-Roman Wrestling and a gold medal in Freestyle Wrestling from the 2001 Summer Deaflympics. He is the only man to defeat Jon Jones, albeit by disqualification due to Jones' illegal elbows. Hamill himself disputes the victory.


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 The Ultimate Fighter
    • 2.2 Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • 2.3 World Series of Fighting
    • 2.4 Independent promotions
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Championships and Accomplishments
  • 5 Mixed martial arts record
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Early life

Hamill was deaf from birth. He was introduced to wrestling by his stepfather Michael Rich, who was the head wrestling coach at Loveland High School. Hamill attended the Rochester Institute of Technology for 3 years transferring there after a year at Purdue University.

Mixed martial arts career

The Ultimate Fighter

Hamill was on The Ultimate Fighter 3 reality television show, training under former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz in the 205lb (93kg) weight class. He won a preliminary fight against Mike Nickels via decision, but was unable to continue into the semi-finals due to injuries.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

On June 24, 2006, Hamill fought fellow contestant Jesse Forbes at The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale on Spike TV and won via knockout.

Hamill faced The Ultimate Fighter 2's Seth Petruzelli in a Fight of The Night performance he won via unanimous decision at Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter on October 10, 2006. Judges scored the bout 29–28, 30–27 and 29–28 for Hamill.

Hamill then fought Rex Holman at UFC 68: The Uprising where he won by TKO in the first round.

Hamill fought fellow TUF 3 alumni Michael Bisping at UFC 75 in London, England on September 8, 2007, where he lost via split decision. The decision was considered controversial by many, in large part because the fight was held in England, Bisping's home country. However, the two American judges ringside awarded the victory to Bisping, with the lone British judge scoring the fight for Hamill. A rematch was scheduled for UFC 78, but due to knee surgery, Hamill withdrew. A rematch since became unlikely because Bisping subsequently dropped down to the Middleweight division after losing a split decision to Rashad Evans.

Hamill next fought Tim Boetsch on April 3, 2008 whom he defeated in the second round by TKO, bringing his record to 4 wins and 1 loss. During the fight, Hamill suffered a badly split bottom lip due to a knee strike.

Hamill then went on to fight at UFC 88 against former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin as the co-main event. He lost the fight by TKO after a kick to the liver at 0:39 of the third round.

At UFC 92, Hamill defeated Reese Andy in the second round by TKO due to strikes.

Hamill fought former NCAA wrestling champion Mark Munoz at UFC 96, defeating him with a right leg roundhouse kick to the head, knocking Munoz unconscious and earning him the Knockout of the Night award.

His next fight was scheduled to be Brandon Vera at UFC 102, but due to a knee injury while training, Hamill was replaced by Krzysztof Soszynski.

Hamill at the UFC 75 weigh ins before facing Michael Bisping.

Coming off of knee surgery, Hamill became sick. Hamill faced off against undefeated prospect Jon Jones on December 5, 2009 at The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale and won by disqualification after Jones utilized multiple 12-6 elbows. The unified rules of mixed martial arts prohibit downward elbow strikes, and Jones was initially only penalized a point from the round. However, because Hamill could not continue due to a dislocated shoulder, Jones was disqualified for these strikes. Consequently, the tape was reviewed and showed that Jones' elbows further damaged Hamill's already bloody and lacerated nose. This marked the first time that Nevada has used its recently enacted instant replay rule, in which the referee's decision was supported by the commission which utilized a slow motion replay to review the elbows.

Hamill defeated Keith Jardine on June 19, 2010 at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz Finale. Hamill won this fight by majority decision. Jardine was docked a point for accidentally poking Hamill in the eye in round 2.

Hamill next fought his former The Ultimate Fighter 3 coach, Tito Ortiz on October 23, 2010 at UFC 121 which he won via unanimous decision.

Hamill was next scheduled to face undefeated Phil Davis at UFC 129. It was then announced that Thiago Silva had failed his UFC 125 post fight drug test, and Hamill was named as his replacement in his bout against former UFC light heavyweight champion and current top contender Quinton Jackson. Hamill lost the fight via a one sided unanimous decision.

At UFC 133 Hamill faced off against up and coming Swedish striker Alexander Gustafsson, replacing an injured Vladimir Matyushenko. After an uneventful first round, Gustafsson dropped Hamill in the second with a straight punch followed by an uppercut, subsequently finishing Hamill with punches and elbows from the mount.

On August 8, 2011, Matt Hamill decided to step away from the UFC and MMA, as he lost his last two fights. "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," he said on his official website.

Nearly a year later, however, Hamill decided to come out of retirement. Hamill was expected to face UFC newcomer Roger Hollett on September 22, 2012 at UFC 152. However, Hollett was forced out of the bout due to a contract dispute with Bellator and replaced by Vladimir Matyushenko. However, Matyushenko was forced out of the bout after suffering a torn Achilles tendon while training, and was replaced by Hollett, who had settled the issue in time. He won his return fight via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Hamill faced Thiago Silva on October 9, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 29. Hamill lost the bout by unanimous decision and was subsequently released from the UFC.

World Series of Fighting

In May 2014 Hamill signed a deal with World Series of Fighting. He was expected to debut for the promotion later in 2014, however due to nagging injuries, Hamill would retire for the second time in his career.

Hamill later decided to return to mixed martial arts and was scheduled to fight against Vinny Magalhães at WSOF 20 on April 10, 2015. However Magalhães was pulled from the bout after a contract dispute with Titan Fighting Championships. Hamill was expected to fight in a rematch against Thiago Silva at WSOF 19 on March 28, 2015, but was forced to withdraw from the competition after suffering a sinus infection. Hamill eventually faced Magalhães at WSOF 24 held on October 17, 2015. He lost the fight via submission in the first round.

Independent promotions

After his stint in WSOF, Hamill began fighting for various independent promotions.

Hamill faced Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on May 21, 2016 at Venator FC3: Palhares vs. Meek in Italy. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.

Hamill next faced Julian Marquez on October 14, 2016 at Combate Americas: Empire Rising. He lost the fight via TKO in the first round.

After suffering a four-fight losing streak, Hamill earned his first win in over four years when he faced fellow UFC veteran Luiz Cané at Fight 2 Night 2 on April 28, 2017 in Brazil. He won the fight via knockout in the first round.

Personal life

Hamill is divorced and has a daughter from the marriage.

Hamill is the subject of a 2010 movie entitled The Hammer about his early life and wrestling career. Originally set to star Eben Kostbar, it was criticized by the Deaf community for featuring a non-Deaf actor; however, Hamill himself supported the casting of Eben due to his wrestling experience and the fact that Eben is fluent in American Sign Language. Kostbar withdrew from starring, feeling it would be more appropriate for a member of the Deaf community to take the role:

“As I went further along, and consulted with Deaf people, I realized that [playing Matt] was not the way to go. Deaf actors are not really given that many opportunities. I wanted this project to reach people, to inspire people, and so I realized I needed to step away from this role.”

—  - Eben Krostbar in 2011

Deaf actor Russell Harvard was chosen as the final choice to voice Hamill. The movie was produced by Joseph McKelheer and Eben Kostbar and directed by Oren Kaplan.

Hamill and his longtime girlfriend Brittany Houck were engaged to be married in May 2008.

Championships and Accomplishments

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Mark Muñoz
    • Fight of the Night (Two times) vs. Seth Petruzelli; Keith Jardine

Mixed martial arts record

See also

  • List of male mixed martial artists
  • List of current WSOF fighters

External links

  • Matt "The Hammer" Hamill
  • UFC Profile
  • Professional MMA record for Matt Hamill from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata
  • "Hamill" The Movie
  • Matt Hamill profile at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

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