The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Daugherty first reported Hamill’s retirement earlier today and Hamill has since confirmed the decision on his personal website. The Ultimate Fighter 3 castmember is best known as the only deaf fighter in UFC history.
Hamill first made national sports news after becoming a three-time NCAA Division III national champion in wrestling, whilst attending Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He went on to win a gold medal in the 2001 Summer Deaflympics in freestyle wrestling.
Following one amateur MMA fight, Hamill was cast on season three on the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter reality series on Spike TV. Hamill joined seven other light heavyweights vying for a UFC contract and was coached by former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, where he would win his only fight during the show. Following the victory, he was unable to continue through the show’s tournament due to an injury suffered while training with team rival Michael Bisping. Hamill made his return at the show’s season finale, defeating Seth Petruzelli via unanimous decision. The fight earned them both a “Fight of the Night” bonus.
Hammil would go on to face fellow contenders and former champions such as Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Mark Munoz, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in his UFC career.
Arguably the biggest win of his career is seen as a loss by most viewers who witnessed the fight. Hamill took on highly regarded prospect Jon Jones at the The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale in December 2009. Jones was on top of Hamill in full mount, and was elbowing Hamill in the face. Regular elbows to a downed opponent are legal. However, Jones started to elbow in a “12-6″ motion (top to bottom with elbow pointed downward), which are illegal. The fight was stopped, with Hamill deemed unable to continue. Jones was disqualified from the match, and was not awarded the victory. Because of the disqualification, as opposed to a no contest, Hamill was awarded the win. Jones would later appeal to the Nevada State Athletic Commission to have the fight overturned to a no contest to no avail.
Hamill more recently fought in the main event at UFC 130 in May against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The matchup was a late replacement as the main event after a lightweight championship bout between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard was scratched. Hamill and Jackson fought to a less than stellar decision, with Jackson being named the winner.
“The Hammer” returned from the loss on Saturday at UFC 133 after being named a late replacement for the injured Vladimir Matyushenko against Alexander Gustafsson. He was stopped by Gustafsson in the second round due to strikes.
His career in the UFC will be remembered for his knockout of Mark Munoz with a head kick that is still seen in many UFC highlight reels. A biographical movie was recently made about him and his life, entitled Hamill, that is expected to be released later this year.
“Today is a sad day for me,” Hamill said in a statement. “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.”