After six years in the UFC, Matt "The Hammer" Hamill (10-4) has decided to hang up his gloves. The popular 34-year-old light heavyweight announced his retirement Monday afternoon on his official website.
"The UFC has been extremely good to me and given me an opportunity to make a great living," Hamill wrote. "I just don't have it in me to fight anymore and my last two performances have shown that."
Fresh off two underwhelming performances in the last four months -- a decision loss to Quinton Jackson at UFC 130 and a brutal knockout defeat at the hands of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133 -- Hamill made it clear that this was a decision he had been considering for some time.
"I was ready to make this decision after UFC 130 but my friends, family coaches and most importantly my daughter encouraged me to give it one last chance," he wrote. "I can't continue to fight without having the hunger and desire to do so."
"I have not been kind to my body and it has nothing left after 28 years of non stop competition. It's time to finally give it a rest."
After entering into the UFC in 2006 with his run to the semi-finals of "The Ultimate Fighter Season 3", Hamill quickly endeared himself as a fan-favorite. The former All-American always showed up ready to entertain the audience and found immediate success within the promotion, winning nine of his first eleven fights, while taking home two Fight of the Night bonuses and one Knockout of the Night award.
Hamill's accomplishment are made even more impressive by the fact that he was born deaf in both ears. His struggles and hardships have been the subject of numerous media, including the upcoming, critically-acclaimed film starring Russell Harvard, entitled "Hamill", that documents his early life and wrestling career.
Truly, Hamill is a unique athlete in a sport riddled with typecasts, and it will be sad to see him go. He finishes his career with a 10-4 record and a legion of adoring fans.
"Thank you to all my friends and family for their unconditional support and most of all thank you to my fans! It's the fans that have made this the truly special experience it has been," he signed off. "The UFC has become family to me and I hope to be involved with the number one mixed martial arts organization in the world as a coach, ambassador and fan for a long time to come."