It's not an intelligent defense to keep the hands in front of the face. A solid number of punches, including the hooks, got through.
My point is not that the damage he took was excessive (certainly fighters have taken worse damage in terms of strikes delivered from the mount and still managed to continue). My point is that he failed to intelligently defend himself by any definition of the term.
If you're in that position, an intelligent defense means at least attempting to control the arms. I just went back and watched the ground-and-pound and I'm comfortable with my initial count of 20-25 seconds between when Jones starts delivering punishment and when Hamill actually starts looking to control an arm.
I think it was intelligent enough of a defense to stop most punches and strikes from having full damage on him. It wasn't enough to warrant a stoppage before the illegal elbows.
The reason he gave for his inability to continue was the shoulder injury.
I'm not going to argue that he was totally conscious or that his face looked fine. The guy looked like a f*cking hamburger and clearly had some issues getting himself back together.
But, and this is conducive with the video of the actual fight, he said in the post fight interview (and in subsequent interviews) that the problem with continuing was his shoulder.
Again. Fighters will fight through bloody and broken noses. Fighters will fight through concussions.
Fighters will not fight through a dislocated shoulder. It's just not possible. The injury takes away too much of a fighter's game to allow him to work effectively. That was the basis of Hamill's decision.
Yeah, that was Hamill's saying of why he couldn't continue. But everyone else who watched the fight could see that after those brutal elbows, shoulder or not, he wasn't going to be able to continue fighting.