Matt giving his inspirational speech. Photo- Zach Thomas

Deaf UFC Fighter Matt Hamill Visits St. Scholastica

Katelyn Gehling

Pro fighter Matt Hamill, a Deaf mixed martial artist and wrestler, visited the College of St. Scholastica for the fourth time for a 56 Nights event sponsored by the ASL Club.

On Friday, Feb. 2 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Matt “The Hammer” Hamill spoke to students and taught multiple wrestling moves in the Reif Gymnasium. The moves included basic punches, defending, and a move he calls “locked and loaded,” which is a type of headlock he uses in the fighting ring. He also spoke to students about his fighting career and how he came to love wrestling from a young age.

Hamill was Deaf from birth, born in 1976. By the age of four, he was feeling very sad and lonely, and decided to join wrestling. It was with wrestling he discovered his life’s passion and he went on to wrestle for Rochester Institute of Technology, where he won three NCAA Division III championships. From there his passion changed to mixed martial arts, where he fought his way up to the top division, the UFC. He has also competed in the Deaflympics where he has won three gold medals.

Hamill still fights today, but spends most of his time teaching people how to wrestle at his camps and going around the country motivating students. Hamill is a true believer in hard work, and says, “If you work hard enough and believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

He says he loves teaching people how to wrestle, and loves seeing people succeed. Hamill is hoping to return to Scholastica next year, but this time “with mats so we can do takedown moves.”