After his retirement from the Octagon, thirty-six year-old, Loveland native Matt Hamill will make his return against Thiago Silva on Oct. 9 in Brazil.
Silva will stand to be one of Hamill’s toughest opponents to date. The Jiu-Jitsu black belt has 15 wins, three losses and two no contests. He finishes fights quickly, as none of his victories have ever gone past the second round, and he will also have the advantage of fighting in his home country. Two of Silva’s losses were by decision, so for Hamill to win, his best bet is to try to take the fight to a decision. This is very possible for the Loveland High School graduate. He is a quality wrestler (three-time NCAA Div. III wrestling champion) and has a solid boxing game.
Hamill was the first deaf competitor in the UFC.
Hamill’s last stoppage victory came in 2009 against Mark Munoz, and he is prone to fighters with heavy hands. Proof of this was found in his fights against Jon Jones, Alexander Gustaffsson, and Rich Franklin. If Hamill plays a very defensive game, and uses his wrestling background to control Silva on the ground, he has a very good chance at a victory. Hamill needs to control the pace of the fight, and not enter a slugfest with Silva. If Hamill wins, it will probably not be an exciting fight.
Silva is coming in with a less than stellar reputation in the UFC. Two of his last five fights were overturned because of failed drug tests, and he is known for showboating over knocked out opponents. All of Silva’s losses have come against top tier opponents. Like Hamill, Silva has struggled against light heavyweights ranked inside the top five. Silva has an advantageous position in this match-up though-- his last fight was a first round knockout victory over Rafael Cavalcante in June, while Hamill’s last victory was over a year ago against an opponent of a much lower caliber.
Hamill is the subject of a 2010 movie entitled The Hammer about his early life and wrestling career.The fight will air on Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m.
Read Mulvey's Review: Hamill the Movie
About Matt Hamill
Hamill graduated from Loveland High School in Ohio and has been inducted into their Hall of Fame.
Matt “The Hammer” Hamill is a deaf American amateur wrestler and MMA fighter. He was a three-time NCAA Wrestling Division III National Champion (167 lb. class in 1997, 190 lb. class in 1998, and 197 lb. class in 1999) while attending the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York (Degree Electrical Engineering).
In November 2007, Matt was inducted into the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame. Matt also participated in the Deaflympics in 1997 (Denmark) where he won both golds in greco-roman style and freestyle. Then in 2001 at Rome, Italy, Matt earned a silver in greco-roman style along with a gold medal in freestyle.
Matt was a contestant on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter reality television show in the 205 lb (93 kg) weight class which was a launching pad for his career in the UFC.
Matt fought in the UFC for six years and has amassed a career record of 10-4 in the UFC and 12-4 overall in MMA.
On August 8th, 2011 – Matt Hamill announced his retirement from the UFC.
13 months later, Matt came out of retirement and fought at UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada and won via unanimous decision.
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 hold a victory over the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones (via DQ).