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Tag: Din Thomas

And Now He’s Retired: Din Thomas, Veteran of the “Olden Age,” Steps Away After 15-Year MMA Career


(Thomas lands some leather on Josh Neer during their UFC Fight Night 13 bout in April 2008. / Photo via Getty)

When Din Thomas made his professional MMA debut in October 1998, Bill Clinton was president of the United States, Google had only existed for about a month, and Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones were both eleven years old. Over the course of his 15-year career, Thomas waged war with the biggest lightweight names of his era — including BJ Penn, Jens Pulver, Matt Serra, and Caol Uno — and re-launched himself into the MMA spotlight in 2006 with an appearance on TUF 4 and a subsequent string of wins over Rich Clementi, Clay Guida, and Jeremy Stephens.

After leaving the UFC in 2008, Thomas reinvented himself as a featherweight, winning his next three fights by stoppage. But in recent years, Thomas’s career momentum has ground to a halt. There was his canceled freak-show against Ricardo Mayorga in May 2010, followed by a car accident on the way to a scheduled match in October 2011. There was a suspension and no-contest after his win over Cody Bollinger in May 2012, and a decision loss to Georgi Karakhanyan at LFC 19 last April. But watching some of his old-school peers go down at UFC 168 was the last straw, and Din Thomas announced his retirement yesterday via the following press release:

UFC 168, Weidman vs Silva, could have driven the last nail in the coffin of any idea that anybody from my era could still be champion. Anderson Silva failed to re-claim his title after suffering the 2 [worst] losses of his career to the undefeated, Chris Weidman. Whether Silva manages to ever return to the Octagon or not, this fight was career ending. Josh Barnett, our last heavyweight hopeful was unsuccessful at moving closer to owning the UFC heavyweight title that he once owned. His plans were foiled by Travis Browne. This trend is not necessarily a testament of the evolution of the new UFC athlete, but provides further evidence that my colleagues from the Golden Age of MMA are now of the “Olden Age” of MMA.

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TUF 14 Tryout Video: ‘Karmaatemycat’ Appears Among All-Star Cast

Though Jeff “Karmaatemycat” Watts‘s TUF 14 tryout journey was cut short due to his record (more on that to come), the scrappy Potato Nation member does make a brief appearance at the 1:40-1:44 mark of the above video from MMAFighting.com. Had Watts been able to show off his skills for Dana & Co., he would have been doing so alongside such well-traveled 135/145-pound vets as Ian McCall, Bryan Caraway, Nick Denis, Matt Jaggers, Jose Vega, Paul McVeigh, and (as we see in this other highlight vid from KahL-One) Din Thomas. He would have also picked up $100 cash for every submission he pulled off. Oh well. Next time, bro…

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Classic Fights: BJ Penn, The Early Days

Going into his UFC 118 title rematch against Frankie Edgar, BJ Penn is carrying a title that he hasn’t had since before UFC 80 — former champion. We’re willing to believe that the Prodigy had an off night in Abu Dhabi, but if he wants his belt back he’ll have to relocate the kind of violent aggression that got him to the top in the first place. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at four of Penn’s early fights that set him up as a star in the UFC, and laid the groundwork for the legend that was to come…

BJ Penn vs. Joey Gilbert, UFC 31, 5/4/01

As the first non-Brazilian to win the black belt division at the Mundials, Penn entered the UFC with a reputation to uphold. But he wasn’t looking to become the next Royce Gracie. Even from the beginning, the Prodigy was a true hybrid fighter, whose grappling and striking worked in tandem. His Octagon debut was against another UFC newbie, Joey Gilbert (1-1 MMA record at the time), and though Gilbert showed impressive ground defense in neutralizing Penn’s attacks and positions, Penn was finally able to flatten Gilbert out on his stomach and whale him in the head until the ref stopped the fight with three seconds left of the first round. It looked like there might be something to this BJ Penn kid after all.

BJ Penn vs. Din Thomas, UFC 32, 6/29/01

Penn returned to action just eight weeks later to take on another fighter who was making his UFC debut. But even though Din Thomas was new to the Octagon, he’d already been around the block, compiling a 12-1 record with all victories by stoppage and a notable win over future champ Jens Pulver. Penn plays guard for a while (and shows off his famous leg flexibility at the vid’s 2:13 mark), but once Thomas starts to threaten with ground-and-pound, Penn escapes to his feet and turns Din off with a perfectly-placed knee to the jaw. The Prodigy was no fluke, and the UFC’s fledgling lightweight division was officially on notice.

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Shine Fights Would Have Canceled Mayorga vs. Thomas Even Without Don King’s Meddling


(Nick Thompson, Rick Hawn, and a bunch of angry fans react to the last-minute cancellation of "Worlds Collide." But hey, they came all that way, so they might as well hit up the concession stands. Props: RealTimeMMA)

After Shine Fights’ "Worlds Collide" event fell apart this weekend, we all assumed it was a direct result of the injunction that wretched, slimy, reptilian motherfucker Don King filed in order to block the participation of headliner Ricardo Mayorga, who King had under a previous fight contract. But it turns out that the cancellation actually had to little to do with King’s interference with the main event, and the general mismanagement of the promotion has led Shine Fights matchmaker Ron Foster to resign. MMA Weekly has the gory details:

"There were concerns about fighter safety and well being, that’s why the fight was canceled," said [North Carolina Boxing Authority Superintendent Terrence] Merriweather on Monday. "What we’re talking about specifically is failing to have a doctor at the event, at the time for the fighters to be seen before the fights had started."

Pike and Merriweather confirmed that in North Carolina it’s the responsibility of the promotion to provide the doctor, and one was not on scene for the fights on Saturday. A financial problem arose as well, as the members of the Boxing Authority explained…
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Breaking (Slowly): Thomas Says He’s Still Fighting Mayorga, King May Take Order to PPV Providers

Ricardo Mayorga
(Honestly, is this the face of a man who wouldn’t carefully read his contract before signing it?)

Final Final Update: Now the entire Shine Fights event has been canceled. Jesus.

Final Update: Mayorga is officially out and Ninja Rua vs. David Heath has been promoted to the main event, MMA reporter Karyn Bryant says. So that’s that.

This Shine Fights story looks like it’s going to drag out all day and the updates are flying fast and furious. As of this afternoon, the company is still adamant that embattled boxer Ricardo Mayorga will make his MMA debut against Din Thomas at tonight’s "Worlds Collide" pay-per-view event, despite a judge’s orders that he not.

For what it’s worth, Thomas is reportedly telling MMA scribes he’s been informed that he’s still fighting Mayorga and will continue preparing accordingly.

Further developments allege that Don King Productions may take its fight straight to PPV providers and basically dare them to air the program in the face of the legal order.

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*UPDATED* Reminder: MMA’s Other Batshit-Crazy Boxer (Maybe) Debuts Tonight

Ricardo Mayorga
(After talking it over with Art Jimmerson, Ricardo Mayorga opts for a very traditional game plan against Din Thomas. PicProps: Sherdog.com)

UPDATE: SI.com’s Josh Gross reports via Twitter that a judge actually did rule in favor of Don King Productions on Saturday, but further updates indicate Shine Fights might say "damn the man" and move forward with Ricardo Mayorga vs. Din Thomas anyway. More as it develops …

Lest James Toney get too comfortable in his standing as mixed martial arts’ resident crazy-mouthed pugilist, former boxing champ and all-around maniac Ricardo Mayorga also makes his MMA debut tonight. Or at least we think he will.

Mayorga, who is best known for his public beer drinking, cigarette smoking and across-the-board not-giving-a-fuck, is slated to face Din Thomas in the independent Shine Fights promotion in Fayetteville, NC. The company remains steadfast that the show – available on PPV for a mere $29.95, if you’re interested – will go on despite some last-minute legal wrangling by Don King. The hirsute boxing promoter was seeking granted an injunction this week to stop Mayorga from appearing, claiming it would violate King’s exclusive contract with the fighter. As of this moment that request – which sounds suspiciously like legalese for: "Break me off a piece, homie," – has not been granted.

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MMA FightPicker Recap: Nurse Your UFC 113 Wounds and Prepare for ‘Heavy Artillery’


(Heavyweights and generic metal-riffs, baby. If this doesn’t get you amped up, then YOU’RE A PUSSY! YEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! Props: shosports)

Though he made a valiant effort in his FightPicker Head-to-Head debut — correctly predicting that Shogun would win by stoppage, Joe Doerksen would score an upset over Tom Lawlor, and Sam Stout would pick up another Fight of the Night bonus — Mike Russell’s excessive love of his Canadian countrymen (and Paul Daley for some reason) proved to be his undoing, as he was edged out by BG, 8-6. Not that getting eight out 13 pool-questions right is anything to brag about. (Aaron Rampey is LOL’ing at our sorry asses right now.) But hey, it was a tough card to predict, with some very surprising outcomes. Did any of you run the table and get every question right?

If you came out ahead this week, why not take your PotatoChip surplus and go extra-big for the current pools, which focus on Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery. Featuring the heavyweight championship fight between Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers, the event goes down this Saturday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and will be broadcast live on Showtime starting at 9 p.m. ET. We’ve also included a few questions related to Shine III: Worlds Collide, which is headlined by former boxing champ Ricardo Mayorga taking on Din Thomas. Check out the questions after the jump and pick well, my friends

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‘March Badness’ Quick Results and Videos

(Bobby Lashley vs. Jason Guida)

MMA matches:
Jeff Monson def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Bobby Lashley def. Jason Guida via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Din Thomas def. Gabe Lemley via TKO, 4:13 of round 1
Dennis Hallman def. Danny Ruiz via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:50 of round 1
James Freeman def. John Mowry via KO, 2:38 of round 1

Boxing matches:
Roy Jones Jr. defeated Omar Sheika via TKO, 1:45 of round 5
B.J. Flores def. Jose Luis Herrera via unanimous decision
Eric Clinton def. Richmond Dalphone via unanimous decision
Kieyon Bussey def. Robert DaLuz via majority decision
Kelvin Price def. Kevin Howard via majority decision

Notes…

— The Lashley/Guida bout didn’t live up to the pre-fight trash-talk, and Lashley proved that he’s not quite ready for prime time. The first round was spent mostly in a clinch against the ropes after Guida was able to stuff Lashley’s takedown attempts. The next two rounds saw Lashley on top of Guida and working some ground-and-pound, but Guida never took much damage. In fact, a guillotine choke attempt that Guida put on Lashley in the third round was the closest that the fight came to being finished. It was a moral victory for Guida — though his record now drops to 17-20, while Lash increases to 2-0.

— Roy Nelson got straight-up robbed by the judges. Though Jeff Monson did win the third round via striking exchanges, the first two were controlled by Nelson, who scored takedowns and was able to achieve mount in both rounds. But it seemed that all three judges credited the second frame to Monson due to some knees he threw in the clinch. After the fight, Monson admitted that the fight "could have gone either way," while Nelson immediately stormed off in anger.

— After beating Gabe Lemley with a ferocious punches-and-knee combo that put Lemley out cold, Din Thomas told the crowd that it’s not cool to put hands on a lady, and if Rihanna needs someone to kick Chris Brown’s ass for her, she should holla.

More videos from "March Badness" are after the jump…

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Quote Stew: Lindland, Dana, ‘Big Dan’ + More

CA
(“Oh, hello poor people.” — philanthropist Calvin Ayre.)

“The only organization that wasn’t willing to make me an offer was the UFC. They don’t want the best fighters; they want the best fighters that they can control.”
Matt Lindland on his new deal with Affliction. Lindland also revealed that EliteXC approached him with an offer, but was outbid by the t-shirt company turned MMA-promoter.

“We’re going to make the WEC the smaller weights and the UFC will be the heavier weights. We’ll probably take some of the guys in the higher weights, the champions over there and bring them into UFC. We’re still trying to figure that out.”
Dana White on further distinguishing Zuffa’s MMA properties. He told the Canadian Press that the UFC has no plans to install a 145-pound division or a women’s division.

“While I know I can win against any lightweight in the world on a given day, I fell twice in a row [to Kenny Florian and Josh Neer]. Therefore, I’m going to bow out. Good luck to those guys. I’m going to drop down to 145 lbs and see if those guys down there will embrace me.”
Din Thomas on his future plans, which will hopefully include the WEC’s featherweight division.

“You’ve likely heard the rumblings and rumors… and for once…. it’s true… I’m packing it in! Well, who am I kidding? I was really more of a brand ambassador for Bodog the past while anyway – but it was fun while it lasted.”
Calvin Ayre announcing his retirement from Bodog, which will be restructuring and returning its focus to gaming, and not so much on money-losing fight promotions.

“I was asked by the UFC to help with security when the 2 fighters entered the ring area. They where more worried about Matt than GSP. Next thing I know some wack job is jumping over the barriers and charging the ring. I didn’t want to hurt the guy so I was just going to put him to sleep and then help get him out of there before he hurt someone or himself.”
UFC ref Dan Miragliotta (who comes in at 6’4”, 296 pounds) on his rear-naked-choke of Joe Asshole at UFC 83.

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American Top Team Highlight Reel

Sick new vid from ATT via TUF. It’s hard to name another fight team that’s as deep and consistent as Calvancante, Kang, Monson, “Dinyero,” Yves, Bigfoot Silva and the rest. Coconut Creek FTW.

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