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Who is the deaf UFC fighter? The only man to 'defeat' Jon Jones

Matt Hamill
Matt Hamill
Dhruv Sharma
Modified 01 Jan 2021, 14:23 IST

Former TUF participant and UFC light heavyweight Matt Hamill will always be remembered as the only fighter to have officially defeated Jon Jones. However, what's even more intriguing is the fact that Hamill was born deaf, the only UFC fighter to have stepped inside the octagon with that disability.

It takes spectacular courage and will power for a fighter to overcome adversity when in an MMA fight. However, some adversities reach beyond the realms of the octagon. Matt Hamill is one of the few who have overcome the ultimate adversity of not being of a sound body throughout his life.

On December 5th, 2009, Hamill took on Jon Jones who was at the time an up-and-coming fighter with three consecutive wins in the UFC. Hamill already had eight UFC fights in his kitty by that time. While Jon Jones dominated the fight thoroughly, he landed a few illegal 12-6 (vertical) elbows on Hamill and ended up getting disqualified by referee Steve Mazzagatti. That would prove to be the only loss of his MMA career.

In the process, Matt Hamill claimed the scalp of one of the best fighters the world of mixed martial arts has ever seen, albeit via disqualification. The illegality of the elbows is a hotly debated topic to-date, with UFC commentator Joe Rogan claiming on a number of occasions that it shouldn't be.

Not just Jon Jones, Matt Hamill has been 'hammering' adversity since his birth

One might make the mistake of assuming that Hamill’s legacy is restricted to his controversial win over Jon Jones. Nothing can be farther than the truth.

Matt Hamill is a lifelong freestyle wrestler having taken up the sport at the tender age of six. His fruitful collegiate wrestling career would go on to earn him three national championships in NCAA Division III freestyle wrestling. His accolades earned him a spot in the third season of the Ultimate Fighter.

Considered a favorite in the competition, it was eventually an injury that forced him to be eliminated from the tournament.

He holds wins over UFC legends like Mark Munoz and Tito Ortiz among others, apart from Jon Jones.


And though the latter end of his MMA career wasn’t quite as impressive, he did enough in the UFC to be remembered.

Nick Newell, who is a professional MMA fighter with just one arm, has openly stated that Hamill has been one of his greatest inspirations to take up MMA.

Currently, Hamill is happy in his role of a doting father and though divorced, shares a good rapport with his ex-wife and children.

Published 01 Jan 2021, 14:23 IST
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