Biography and Profile of Matt Hamill

UFC 92 The Ultimate 2008
Matt Hamill (L) blocks a punch during his Light Heavyweight bout with Reese Andy at UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008 at the MGM Grand Arena on December 27, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jon P. Kopaloff / Contributor / Getty Images

We all have things we must overcome. But when it comes to Matt Hamill, it's sometimes hard to imagine how he's done the things he's done. After all, Hamill was born deaf. Imagine all of the instructions at wrestling practice that were difficult to understand. We can only assume the same was true as he learned MMA.

Yet he persevered enough that MMA and wrestling fans across the country know his name. Here is his story.

Date of Birth

Matt Hamill was born on October 5, 1976, in Loveland, Ohio.


The Hammer

Fighting Organization

Hamill ended his career fighting for the top MMA organization in the world, the UFC.

Wrestling Beginnings

Hamill began learning about wrestling from his stepfather, who was the wrestling coach at Loveland High School. Hamill's greatest high school wrestling accomplishment was coming in third in the state.

Communication, of course, was a major barrier for him in sports. But he found ways to overcome it, as he told ESPN RISE.

"I learned through demonstrating and (having someone) show me pictures of how you wrestle," Hamill said. "(I’d say), “Oh, OK, I can do that one.” Then I just wrestled and learned the moves. Sometimes after wrestling practices, I worked by myself to learn my technique and my skills and movements."

National Champion

After graduation, Hamill attended Purdue University for a year before transferring to the Rochester Institute of Technology. There he achieved three Division III National Championships in wrestling. Hamill also achieved a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling and a gold medal in freestyle wrestling from the 2001 Summer Deaflympics. He was unsuccessful in his bid to make the 2000 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team.

MMA Beginnings and TUF 3

Hamill burst onto the MMA scene on TUF 3 as a part of Tito Ortiz's team (Ortiz vs. Shamrock). At the time, he was only 1-0 in MMA. He won his first fight on the show over Mike Nickels before succumbing to an injury. From there, he won three straight UFC bouts before losing to fellow TUF 3 contestant Michael Bisping by decision in a fight many believe he won.

Fighting Style

Hamill was one of the most powerful fighters in the 205-pound weight class. Sheer brute strength plus upper echelon wrestling skills made him very difficult to take down. Further, he possessed the kind of takedowns and ground control that allowed him to be a very formidable ground and pound fighter. His overall striking skills improved tremendously over time, leaving him a better than average UFC competitor in that regard upon retirement.

Hamill never was much for submissions. His submission defense was strong, however.

Retirement From MMA

After losing to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133 by way of TKO, Hamill decided to walk away from the MMA game.

"Today is a sad day for me," he said 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."

Movie - The Hammer

Hamill was the subject of the 2010 movie entitled "The Hammer", depicting his amazing story.

Some of Matt Hamill's Greatest MMA Victories

  • Hamill defeats Tito Ortiz by decision at UFC 121: The bottom line is that Hamill simply outlasted Ortiz in this one, doing everything just a little better than "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy". By defeating his former TUF 3 coach, Hamill proved once again that he was a force to be reckoned with in the UFC.
  • Hamill defeats Mark Munoz by KO at UFC 96: Anytime a fighter known for his wrestling background drops somebody for good with a head kick, you know they've become a complete mixed martial artist. When Hamill did this against Munoz, a fighter known for his toughness, he let people know there were no safe spots with him.
  • Hamill defeats Tim Boetsch by TKO at Ultimate Fight Night: Florian vs. Lauzon: Hamill simply overpowered and outwrestled Boetsch, showing the world that there were a lot of strong people in the UFC- but few that possessed his kind of power.