Former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 contestant, Matt "The Hammer" Hamill, shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) world when he unexpectedly retired from the UFC last year following two devastating losses to Rampage Jackson, and Alexander Gustafsson.
Before the consecutive defeats "The Hammer" was on a five fight winning streak with wins over: Reese Andy, Mark Munoz, Keith Jardine, Tito Ortiz, and current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (via disqualification).
Hamill, 35, the subject of a recent movie about his life, entitled "The Hammer," recently decided to give MMA another go after taking some much needed time off.
"I was battling some nagging injuries for a while," Matt Hamill told UFC.com "And with my hectic schedule I never gave my body time to rest. My body couldn’t keep up and I was mentally drained."
Hamill had plenty to keep him busy during his break, but after getting back to training, he realized that the sport was still in his blood.
"Well, after a nice break and some resting on my hammock, I kept busy with my business ventures outside the Octagon and recently married my long-time girlfriend on June 30," Hamill said. "After a little rest I went back to MVMMA (Mohawk Valley MMA in upstate New York) and started training with some of the guys there. I felt healthy and re-energized and decided if I ever wanted to come back the time would be now."
According to Hamill the adjustment of going back into training hasn't been difficult at all after the year long layoff. "It wasn’t very tough,” Hamill said. "I was in the gym training light and doing drills and my body just responded."
Hamill will be welcomed back to the UFC by Canadian Bellator transplant Roger Hollett who is making his UFC debut and is riding a five-fight winning streak.
"He seems to have solid striking and packs some power, but I have a good chin and feel like I can handle anything he throws at me," Hamill said.
Going into the fight, Hamill remains clear of his goals for returning to the sport -- he wants to make another run at UFC gold.
"My goals are the same as they have always been," said Hamill. "Be the best at whatever I decide to do. That means winning fights and climbing back up the ladder to a title shot."