UFC Vet Din Thomas Discusses New ASA Job, Weighs-in on Tyron Woodley-Hector Lombard
By Kelsey Mowatt
Din Thomas called it quits on his memorable fighting career earlier this year, but the UFC vet continues to add to his already, stacked resume.
In addition to running his own American Top Team gym in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the 38 year-old Thomas was recently hired by the Apex Sports Agency.
“Being that I know MMA, you know, Jason Chambers reached out to me, who is a good buddy of mine, reached out and was like ‘hey man, do you want to be a part of this?” Thomas relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “I said sure. I like to do a lot of things. That’s my thing. I love to be involved in a lot of different things. I want to be involved in MMA as much as I can. That’s what I’ve been doing almost the last 20 years here I am.”
The Fort Lauderdale based ASA firm was created in 2011, and represents professional athletes from various sports, including MMA.
“I’ll be doing all kinds of different stuff,” the second degree, BJJ black belt furthered. “I’ll be managing the whole MMA division, so I’ll be obviously consulting with clients, and helping Jason with some of the contracts and just making sure everything on the MMA side of it is in order.”
Not only will Thomas assist ASA with current clients, but the former TUF 4 competitor will help the firm evaluate and sign emerging prospects.
“I’ve already got my eye on a guy that I wanted to pick up,” Thomas said. “Right now I’m in talks with him and going through the process of trying to get this guy on the roster. A young kid. I don’t know if I can say it now, but if we acquire him, you’ll be hearing about it in the next couple of days.”
Of course, due to the dramatic growth of MMA, more and more agencies are going out of their way to sign young fighters. In fact, some firms are signing promising prospects and providing them the financial means to train, before they’ve even had one pro fight.
“I think it’s amazing for the sport and it just shows how far we’ve come in a short amount of time…” Thomas noted. “It’s been amazing for the sport that it’s grown this far because when we all got involved in this in the beginning, it was all just a hobby for us…I’m just glad that it’s grown so far that I can still be a part of this, and make a living, and not only make a living, but have fun doing it.”
During the FCF Radio segment, Thomas was asked for his take on the highly publicized back-and-forth his teammates Hector Lombard and Tyron Woodley have had in recent weeks. Not that long ago, it was revealed that the UFC had approached the ATT welterweights about fighting each other, but only Lombard was on board.
Woodley said he’s not willing to fight a teammate unless a title’s on the line, but Lombard has argued that the two aren’t close, and that further, the Strikeforce vet is afraid to fight him. Of course, it’s not the first time the UFC has encountered matchmaking difficulties, as a result of a fighter’s reluctance to throw down with a teammate.
“It’s an issue, but it’s not really that much of an issue, and I think some of it comes down to like, just how well guys know each other,” said Thomas. “I mean, ATT guys have fought ATT guys before. At the lower levels we fight all the time. At the amateur fights, we are constantly fighting each other, so I don’t think it’s that.”
“The whole thing with Hector and Tyron was a little different,” Thomas furthered. “It was some underlining beef, that I can’t get into, but I think it’s pretty much squashed now, and Tyron is a really good guy, and he was just like, I’m not going to fight him, based on what’s going on with this beef…a lot of people thought that he was just scared, or whatever, but Tyron is a good guy, he’s a straight professional, and he likes to keep his career first. He didn’t want to jeopardize his career over something petty…if the circumstances were different, I’m sure Tyron wouldn’t have a problem fighting Hector.”