The Inspiring Story of Matt Hamill

The Inspiring Story of Matt Hamill

One of the people that have inspired thousands in the deaf community is the MMA fighter, Matt Hamill. The Hammer is a UFC Champion and has been followed as closely as Mr Green review 2019, if not more. So, what is the story of this wrestler, turned MMA fighter? 

Early Life

Hamill was born in 1976 in Ohio. In spite of him being deaf, his family, or more specifically, his grandfather Stanley McCoy, encouraged him to socialize with people who could hear, which often meant getting notes from others while in school. Unfortunately for his social life, he had no interpreter and only learned signing when he made it to high school. However, through support and his interest in sports, he was able to not see himself as a deaf child among so-called normal children. He saw himself as their peer.

Originally, he learned about wrestling from his stepfather a wrestling coach. He showed promise and with a lot of hard work, he won third place in the state while still in high school. While it was difficult to communicate with his fellow wrestlers and sparring partners, he managed to overcome this by looking at pictures of moves, having someone show him a hold, and practicing on his own over and over again.


The first notable achievements won by the Hammer were the 1997 Deaflympics and, a little while later, the NCAA Division III Wrestling while he was studying at Purdue University. The reason Hamill decided to try his luck in the world of MMA was that he was working as a bouncer for a while and a patron that he had to throw out came back in to ask him to join the UFC.

His beginnings in the fighting world were somewhat rough, as the other participants made fun of him and, fortunately for Hamill, underestimated him. He started his UFC career on a reality television show called Ultimate Fighter 3. He would have made it to the semi-finals, but the injuries from the previous match were too great for him to continue.

It was not long before he was able to take down his former coach and mentor, Tito Ortiz at UFC 121. He proved time and time again that his deafness did not make him any less of a fighter than the rest. In fact, one could argue that he was better than many who tried their luck at the UFC.    


Hamill retired several times and returned to the ring again and again. He first considered retirement in 2011 because he felt his body could not take any more injuries and that he would be doing a disservice to all the people investing their time and trust in him. Some of the struggles he faced are documented in the biographical film “The Hammer”, starring Russell Harvard, who is also deaf. Matt Hamill will remain an inspiration to those that don’t believe in themselves and we love him for it.