Whenever the subject of 'taking things for granted' comes up, I always recall how trendy it used to be for parents to remind their children about "people starving in Ethiopia" to coerce them into finishing their dinner.  But we as humans seem to naturally take things for granted, knowing it's wrong, but being harshly reminded at a funeral or under other circumstances of loss.

MMA fans were first moved by deaf fighter Matt Hamill's story when he appeared on The Ultimate Fighter 3 in 2006 and formed a bond with coach Tito Ortiz.  In addition to the fairy-tale aspect surrounding Hamill, he immediately proved to be one of the show's top prospects with natural strength and impressive wrestling ability, and seemed destined to collide with fellow standout Michael Bisping in the finals.

Maybe it's just me and because I was rooting for Hamill since day one, but I'll never forget the heart-wrenching scene in the penultimate episode when the jovial Hamill, returning from the hospital after his decision victory over Mike Nickels, slowly processes the bad news that he wouldn't be able to compete in the finals due to a medical suspension.  Having entered the UFC with only one pro-fight, Hamill now boasts a 10-2 record overall, losing only to Bisping by razor-thin decision and former champion Rich Franklin.

Oren Kaplan's biopic film about Matt Hamill and his rise to success in the UFC, simply titled "Hamill", has won three awards and is a hit with fans and critics alike.  Ironically, even though Franklin was the one who encouraged Hamill to sign up for the SpikeTV reality show, "Ace" plays a gruff wrestling coach that cuts him from the team in the film.

"Hamill" won the opening slot at the Cleveland International Film Festival, was the "Audience Award Winner" at the Miami Film Festival, and snared the "Breakthrough Award Winner" at the American Film Institute's Festival in 2010.

The following is a synopsis of the film by the Miami International Film Festival's Andres Castillo:

An incredible true story based on the life of one of the UFC's most respected and beloved fighters, Matt "The Hammer" Hamill, His grandfather did not want Matt, who was born deaf, to be treated differently and enrolled him in regular public schools, but as Matt grew older the limitations of his physical handicap bring crushing disappointments in his quest to be a wrestling champion, among other adolescent drives.

After dropping out for a short time, Matt gets a fresh start at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where he experiences a community of deaf people for the first time, and starts training again, aiming for the National Collegiate Wrestling Championships. Oren Kaplan's first feature film not only breaks new ground in the cinematic treatment of the hearing impaired, it also viscerally depicts the physical and emotional tests endured by Hamill in order to pursue his dreams.

Here's the film's trailer, along with a collection of links pertaining to the film "Hamill" by Oren Kaplan.  Matt Hamill is set to take on Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in his next fight at "UFC 130: Edgar vs. Maynard III" on May 28.



Matt Hamill's website

"Hamill the Movie" website

"Hamill The Movie" Facebook page

Review:  "The Audiences Have Been Amazing"

Andres Castillo's Review

Review:  "Oren Kaplan's 'Hamill' is a Novel and Inspirational Biopic"

"Hamill" IMDB page

Matt Hamill's Official MMA Record on MixedMartialArts.com




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