Italian promotion Venator is continuing to make waves in the MMA world after it was revealed earlier today that a clash of MMA veterans has been added to an already star-studded Venator FC III card on May 21st in Milan.
Matt Hamill (12-6) will fight for the first time in Europe in almost 10 years as the 15-fight UFC veteran takes on one of the most travelled MMA fighters in Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (16-14). This news was revealed by Sokoudjou on twitter and comes days after Luke Barnatt vs. Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller was announced for the same card.
39-year-old Hamill recently returned to action at WSOF in October after initially retiring from MMA action two years prior following his UFC release. Unfortunately his return was not a triumphant one as he lost to Vinny Magalhaes via submission just over a minute into the first round. The TUF 3 star was last victorious in 2012 at UFC 152 when he defeated Roger Hollett via unanimous decision.
Sokoudjou is coming into this fight off back-to-back TKO losses last year and he will be looking regain his form from 2014 which saw his capture two stoppage victories in Bellator.
Another UFC veteran will also compete on the Venator FC III card. UK fighter Che Mills (16-8, 2 NC) takes on Italian Roberto Rigamonti (4-2-1), as confirmed by MMAJunkie.com. It has been almost 18 months since Mills last fought and he has went 1-3 since his departure from the UFC back in 2013. Rigamonti has competed twice since Mills last fought, losing one and drawing the other against tough opposition.
Alan’s Angle: It seems like Sokoudjou has been around forever but is surprisingly only 31-years-old and 8 years the junior of Hamill. I like this fight, it makes sense for both fighters judging their recent outings. Hamill was up against it returning from two years out, while also recovering from nagging injuries, and facing a dangerous grappler in Magalhaes. A test against Sokoudjou offers a more reasonable challenge for him to take on.
For Sokoudjou having lost his two past fights via TKO, and especially taking the damage he took against Paul Buentello, fighting Hamill will give him a much needed break from facing a fighter whose prime weapon is his striking. Hamill is an out and out grinder who last registered a TKO win back in 2009.