The Ultimate Fighter Finale is coming up on June 19, 2010 at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, NV. The main event will take place between Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine and Matt “The Hammer” Hamill. While Jardine is fighting to keep his job in the UFC, Hamill is looking to defeat Jardine and climb up ranks in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
Hamill is coming off of a disqualification win against Jon “Bones” Jones and wants to prove to the fight world that he can again take out quality competition. Hamill said, “This fight is very important to me. Keith Jardine has lost three fights and personally I wasn’t happy with my last fight. I hurt my shoulder and Jon Jones got disqualified. It was not the kind of win I wanted. I want to be in the top ten fighters in the world and I have to beat Keith Jardine. He beat Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. Beating Keith Jardine would be a good opportunity for me to go up in the rankings. And if I get a rematch with Jon Jones then it happens. I have unfinished business with Jon Jones. I have to do one thing at a time though, take on Keith Jardine and then go from there.”
Going from there could be somewhat difficult for Hamill as he has aspirations to become an Olympic wrestler. Hamill barely missed making the Olympic wrestling team in 2008 and is eying the 2012 Olympics. “Duff (Hamill’s manager, trainer, and sign language interpreter) and I have definitely talked about it. We have discussed it and argued about it. I’ve been wrestling for thirty years. I really want to get a gold medal. It’s a once in a lifetime event. I think, ‘Hey, how about 2012? Maybe I should try out at least once.’ To me the UFC belt is similar to a gold medal. But still I am a little patriotic. I have a lot of good wrestling left in me. And I’m thinking if I can be this good of a wrestler, why can’t I go to the Olympics?”
Even though Hamill wants to wrestle in the Olympics, he knows that he has to improve his other fight skills, “MMA is one of the hottest sports out there. This is my twelfth pro fight and tenth in the UFC. Bruno (Hamill’s jiu-jitsu and grappling coach) is over there and to be honest grappling is my weakest one. I’m learning it and getting better. I’m getting there. I’m learning a lot of armbars. Mostly though I just like to beat my opponents up, with ‘The Hammer’ (showing his fists). That’s my submission move.”
Hamill is still amazed about how his life has turned out, “I am so overwhelmed with what has happened. I’m in the video game (Undisputed 2010) and I’m an action figure. I can’t believe that I have come so far. I can tell you nothing is easy. I have a movie coming out this fall. I’m telling you it’s very inspiring. I guarantee you when you watch this movie you will love it. It’s all about my early life. It got my heart all puffed up and brought a tear to my eye when I saw it.”
Matt is thankful for all of the support that he has gotten over his life and career through friends, fans, especially the deaf community, and family, particularly his grandfather, Stan McCoy, who got him into wrestling. He’s also grateful for the sponsors who have supported his career, like Silverstar, American Fighter, Purple Communications, and MMA Warehouse.
Hamill is nothing short of inspirational, overcoming profound deafness to become a three time NCAA Division III wrestling champion and a contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Regardless of what happens Saturday night at The Ultimate Fighter Finale, Hamill will continue to inspire friends, family, and fans alike.
For questions or comments contact James via e-mail. Also check out Cage and Ring Fan for more MMA articles and interviews.
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