If you were to look at the UFC light heavyweight division and were asked to find a spot for Matt Hamill, where would it be? How do you define his career up to this point?
But each time he's been placed into match-ups against elite level opponents, he's been handled, rather thoroughly, in fact. His four career losses have come at the hands of Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Quinton Jackson and Alexander Gustafsson. That's not even mentioning the Jon Jones fight, which is marked down as a disqualification win but is widely accepted as a crushing defeat.
Throughout his short career, though, "The Hammer" has never dropped consecutive fights -- until now. His two straight losses, to "Rampage" and "The Mauler," respectively, have some questioning his career path, one of them being his boss, promotion President Dana White.
Despite being a veteran of just 14 fights, Hamill is already 34-years-old. And with his recent losses occurring in the manner they did, there is doubt as to how much gas is left in the tank.
White was noncommittal when asked what the future holds for the former Ultimate Fighter finalist but he did make sure to say his loss to Gustafsson at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 was "a big tell."
"Well, you've got to give him the credit that he just fought Rampage," White told a group of reporters following the UFC 133 post-fight press conference. "He didn't do horrible in the Rampage fight considering he was fighting... I still think Rampage is one of the best light heavyweights in the world. Tonight was a big tell. He got beat up tonight. He looked outmatched tonight. I don't know. We'll see. It's hard for me to sit here tonight and decide what's going to happen to certain guys. ... You've got to take the weekend. We go back to the office, we talk, we go back and forth. It's not one guy's decision. It's me Joe (Silva) and Lorenzo (Fertitta) that sit down and walk through this stuff."
Indeed, Hamill stepped up on extremely short notice to accept the fight against Gustafsson, who was originally slated to square off against Vladimir Matyushenko before "The Janitor" slipped up in training and suffered an injury.
And this was just over two months removed from this three-round beatdown at the hands of "Rampage."
However, while credit should most certainly be given, it will only go so far. The fight game is a results driven business and if you're not delivering when it counts most, you're likely to be looking for work sooner rather than later.
Especially in the shark infested waters of the UFC.
Still, Hamill is only on strike two and while he's no longer a spry chicken, it's not like he's geriatric. Does the former champion wrestler have enough left to justify another fight booking? Or should Dana and company hand him his walking papers?