Matt Hamill has gone back to the drawing board. The stellar wrestler came up short in his last outing at UFC 88 against former UFC champion Rich Franklin in a performance that many felt lacked heart and desire.
Hamill has since rededicated himself to the sport and in doing so has been spotted training with Brazilian jui-jitsu legend Renzo Gracie.
Hamill, who trains regularly with Gracie disciple Bruno Tostes, appears to be working on his ground game in preparation for his upcoming match up against Reese Andy on Dec. 27 at UFC 92. Gracie, who is the subject of an interesting new documentary, runs a gym out of New York not far from where Hamill trains and could do nothing but help the naturally gifted grappler add a new dimension to his MMA arsenal.
Hamill burst onto the mainstream MMA landscape with a controversial decision loss to Micheal Bisping in a match up that many, including UFC President Dana White, felt he won.
He went on to dominate Tim Boetsch in his next outing at UFN 13 and appeared headed for a possible title shot before being derailed by friend and mentor Rich Franklin at UFC 88.
To his credit, Hamill never made excuses for the loss, but many close to the fighter have stated that Hamill simply couldn’t fight someone he felt close to and he wasn’t able to pull the trigger when he got into the cage.
Hamill’s next fight could go a long way toward determining his viability as a UFC fighter. Should he win, Hamill can catapult himself back into light-heavyweight prospect status along with the likes of Thiago Silva, Goran Reljic, James Irvin and others. Should Hamill lose however, his future with the UFC could be very much in doubt.