Din Thomas throws a right hand at Josh Neer. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The fourth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” was created with the intention to give veterans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship another shot to climb back into the limelight and secure a second stint with the promotion.
Many of the contestants took advantage. Din Thomas was one of them.
After losing a decision to eventual runner-up Chris Lytle on the show, Thomas went on rack up three straight wins, including impressive performances against current lightweight contenders Clay Guida and Rich Clementi.
Seemingly on his way into title contention, Thomas was paired up against Kenny Florian, who was attempting to get back into the championship picture himself. Unfortunately for Thomas, a knee injury suffered during the bout gave him his first loss in over a year and a half. The American Top Team member fell again earlier this month, losing a close decision to Josh Neer.
While the fight may have looked a lot closer than the story the judge’s scorecards told, Thomas will be the first one to admit that he lost the fight.
“For me, I try to be realistic about a fight,” Thomas said during a recent interview session with MMA on Tap. “While I felt that it was close, I actually felt I was losing the fight. I was pretty comfortable on the bottom. My game has always been to look for the submission from the bottom and if they give me enough space, get up. But if they don’t give me enough space, I can stay on my back all day and hope to catch something.”
“Truth is that I was in pretty good shape for the fight,” Thomas continued. “Fatigue wasn’t the biggest factor for me in the fight. I was in a war. After checking so many leg kicks, the impact of them did a number on me to where I couldn’t stand up. Most fights you don’t feel the pain until after the fight is over. This is one fight I can honestly say that I physically felt pain and affected me. Josh fought a good fight. No big deal. The earth still spins and I’ll move on.”
With the UFC’s lightweight division quite possibly being the deepest in the sport, a loss can quickly send a fighter back to the drawing board. With two straight defeats now behind him, Thomas hopes to continue his career at 145 lbs, likely inside the confines of World Extreme Cagefighting.
“The UFC’s lightweight division is the most complex division in the world,” Thomas said. “There’s like four different roads to a title shot going on right now and within any of the roads, no one can afford to lose. While I know I can win against any lightweight in the world on a given day, I fell twice in a row. 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.”
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