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Trainer Mark Dellagrotte Saw Matt Hamill’s Surprise Retirement Coming

Matt Hamill announced his retirement, much to the surprise of many in the MMA community, following his second straight loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133.

Hamill, a former Deaflympic gold medal winner, had previously been defeated by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event of UFC 130.

In his training for the Gustaffson bout, “The Hammer” trained with top Muay Thai trainer Mark Dellagrotte. And Dellagrotte was told by coach Duff Holmes that he didn’t think Hamill still had it in him to continue fighting.

“Matt unfortunately only came (to train with me) for two days and the time I spent with him was limited. I kind of got an indication from his coach Duff Holmes, he said to me, ‘Man, I’m not sure if Matt still has it. I know he’s a fighter, he’s been competing for a long time. I think he’s a little burnt out. I’m trying to refresh his training. I’m trying to reinvigorate him.’ Bringing him to me was part of that process, re-enlighten him, re-inspire him to do better things and Matt came to me,” Dellagrotte said. “We did great things only for a couple days, of course, but we had a great rapport, we got a lot done in the two days that we worked together, but I think it was a little too late. I think Matt is a little burnt out and he’s suffered a lot of injuries in his career.

“He’s trained his came with him as a person which is unfortunately uncommon nowadays. I think a lot of people refer to the fighter as a horse and keep the horse in the race and juice them up with whatever you’ve got to shoot them up with, cortisone, steroids, whatever to keep them going, keep the camp making money. That’s never been my approach and I don’t think that was the people’s approach that handled Matt Hamill. I think they really care for him and I think that Duff, his head trainer, saw that and realized that…maybe it was time to take a break, time to retire. Matt Hamill’s gonna do what’s best for Matt Hamill.”

Hamill (10-4) won nine of his first 11 fights in the UFC. He made his debut with the company after just one professional fight and took part on The Ultimate Fighter series.