Din Yero Thomas (born September 28, 1976) is an American former mixed martial artist who was featured on The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback. In the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Thomas is a UFC 41 Lightweight Tournament Semifinalist. He holds a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Liborio and currently runs two successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA academies in Port St. Lucie, Florida.[2] Thomas holds notable victories of (UFC Lightweight Champion) Jens Pulver, (UFC Welterweight Champion) Matt Serra, and (Strikeforce Lightweight Champion) Clay Guida.

Din Thomas
Born (1976-09-28) September 28, 1976 (age 45)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Other namesDinyero
NationalityAmerican
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight143 lb (65 kg; 10 st 3 lb)
DivisionFeatherweight (2009–2014)
Lightweight
Welterweight
Fighting out ofPort St. Lucie, Florida
TeamAmerican Top Team (2001–2020)[1]
Rank3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Liborio
Years active1998–2014
Mixed martial arts record
Total36
Wins26
By knockout8
By submission14
By decision4
Losses9
By knockout2
By submission2
By decision5
No contests1
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: February 15, 2010

Thomas has acted in local independent films, portraying The Fight Kid in Chris Fuller's Loren Cass and Reverend Pierce in Natalie, Queen of Scots.[3] He appeared alongside Dana White and former opponent Matt Serra on Dana White: Lookin' for a Fight,[4] and currently is a cast member of the UFC Live Weigh-in Show.

BackgroundEdit

Thomas was born in Wilmington, Delaware, where he lived until he was 12 years old. When he was 12 Thomas moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida, and attended Port St. Lucie High School. Thomas flirted with baseball and football growing up, but ultimately did not have a serious interest in team sports because he did not like negatively affecting his teammates. A few weeks before his 18th birthday, Thomas' life changed drastically. He had recently broken up with his girlfriend, and in a fit of rage beat up her new boyfriend at her house. The young Thomas was charged with battery and had to spend his weekends in prison for the next year. Soon, he turned his attention to jiu-jitsu and began training in a small academy near his home.[5]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Before entering the UFC, Thomas held a 12–1 MMA record including wins over future UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver and Dokonjonosuke Mishima, with his only loss coming to future UFC lightweight title challenger Caol Uno. Thomas made his UFC debut at UFC 32, in a fight against future UFC Lightweight and Welterweight champion B.J. Penn, where he lost by TKO (strikes) in the first round. Thomas returned at UFC 33, defeating Fabiano Iha by unanimous decision.

At UFC 39, Thomas faced Japanese superstar Caol Uno in a rematch. The fight was part of a tournament to determine the new UFC Lightweight Champion. After three rounds, Thomas lost by unanimous decision. His next fight was a split decision victory over future UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra at UFC 41. This fight would prove somewhat controversial, due to one of the judges mistakenly placing the score he assigned to Thomas in the column reserved for Serra.[citation needed] This caused Serra to be declared the winner by decision, but the mistake was discovered and Thomas and his team were notified of the change, giving Thomas the split decision victory. This would be Thomas' last UFC fight for 3 years.

Thomas was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 4 where he defeated Mikey Burnett in the first round, before losing to training partner Chris Lytle by decision in the semi-finals. Thomas returned at the finale on November 11, 2006, to face Rich Clementi, winning via rear naked choke in the second round.

Thomas was then defeated via submission (rear naked choke) by future UFC lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian after injuring his knee in a takedown attempt while headlining the main event at UFC Fight Night 11. Doctors said in his takedown attempt that Thomas tore his meniscus and stretched his PCL.[6][7] His most recent UFC fight was a unanimous decision loss to Josh Neer at UFC Fight Night 13. He was released from his UFC contract after this fight.[8]

After his loss to Neer, Thomas decided to drop a weight class to featherweight (145 lbs). He debuted at featherweight against Dustin Pieken securing a triangle choke in the first round. He has followed that up with TKO wins over Gabe Lemley and Dustin Pague.

Thomas had signed with Shine Fights and was expected to make his debut against Ricardo Mayorga on May 15 in Fayetteville, North Carolina but it was canceled after Don King was granted an injunction preventing Mayorga from fighting.[9]

Thomas was scheduled to return after a nearly two-year-long layoff October 7, 2011, at Fight Time 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a promotion headed up by his American Top Team boxing trainer, Howard Davis Jr. But Thomas was in a car accident prior to the event and had to be hospitalized for his injuries. His fight against George Sheppard was scheduled to be the main event of Fight Time 7: The Return of Din Thomas.[10]

On January 2, 2014, Thomas announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.[11]

Coaching careerEdit

Besides his own professional mixed martial artist career, Thomas has been coaching since the early days of MMA. He started coaching at Mike Metzger's Internal Power Karate School in 1999. Thomas owned multiple MMA and jiu-jitsu schools until he was recruited to become one of the primary coaches at American Top Team in 2015. Before becoming a full-time coach at ATT, he had been partially affiliated with the team and its athletes since 2001.[12] In March 2020, Thomas announced that he had departed from ATT in order to pursue his own MMA camp.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Thomas is married and has a son named Ethon.[13]

He also appeared in the 2007 Gotham Award-nominated independent feature film Loren Cass which had its United States premiere at Dennis Hopper's CineVegas Film Festival and its international premiere in the prestigious Filmmakers of the Present competition at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. The film was released in theaters and on DVD in 2009 by Kino International.

Thomas was arrested on October 30, 2007, on a charge of "felony prohibited competitions" in Port St. Lucie, Florida at his training gym.[14] As of November 30, 2007, the Assistant State Attorney's office decided not to file formal charges against Thomas and filed paperwork dismissing the charge on which he was arrested. The Assistant D.A. stated if the fighter or participants were students of Thomas' school, and the purpose of the school is to teach martial arts, then they meet the exception to the law.[15]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
36 matches 26 wins 9 losses
By knockout 7 2
By submission 15 2
By decision 4 5
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 26–9 (1) Georgi Karakhanyan Decision (unanimous) Legacy Fighting Championship 19 April 12, 2013 3 5:00 Texas, United States
NC 26–8 (1) Cody Bollinger No Contest Pure MMA: Next Episode May 12, 2012 1 2:04 Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, United States For the Pure MMA Featherweight Championship. Overturned by the PSAC.
Win 26–8 Dustin Pague TKO (doctor stoppage) WEF: Brasco vs. Whitesel January 8, 2010 2 4:14 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 25–8 Gabe Lemley TKO (knee) SRP: March Badness March 21, 2009 1 4:13 Pensacola, Florida, United States
Win 24–8 Dustin Pieken Submission (triangle choke) HHP 1: The Patriot Act February 7, 2009 1 2:58 Columbia, Missouri, United States Featherweight debut.
Loss 23–8 Josh Neer Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 13 April 2, 2008 3 5:00 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Loss 23–7 Kenny Florian Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night 11 September 19, 2007 1 4:30 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 23–6 Jeremy Stephens Submission (armbar) UFC 71 May 26, 2007 2 2:44 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Submission of the Night
Win 22–6 Clay Guida Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 8 January 25, 2007 3 5:00 Hollywood, Florida, United States Fight of the Night
Win 21–6 Rich Clementi Submission (rear-naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale November 11, 2006 2 3:11 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 20–6 Luciano Azevedo Decision (unanimous) WCFC: No Guts No Glory March 18, 2006 3 5:00 Manchester, England
Win 20–5 Dwayne Shelton Submission (armbar) BP: Pride & Glory September 17, 2005 1 N/A Georgia, United States
Loss 19–5 Tyrone Glover Decision (majority) Deep: 20th Impact September 3, 2005 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 19–4 John Strawn Submission (armbar) Absolute Fighting Championships 11 February 12, 2005 1 1:15 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Win 18–4 Ray Totorico Submission (ankle lock) Battle of New Orleans 11 February 7, 2004 1 1:45 Metairie, Louisiana, United States
Loss 17–4 Amar Suloev TKO (punches and soccer kicks) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 December 31, 2003 1 4:22 Kobe, Japan
Win 17–3 Steve Berger Decision (unanimous) Absolute Fighting Championships 4 July 19, 2003 3 5:00 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Win 16–3 Matt Serra Decision (split) UFC 41 February 28, 2003 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 15–3 Caol Uno Decision (unanimous) UFC 39 September 27, 2002 3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States UFC Lightweight Championship tournament semi-final
Win 15–2 Rob Baer TKO (punches) RSF 6: Mayhem in Myers December 29, 2001 1 1:22 Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Win 14–2 Jason Bender TKO (punches) RSF 5: New Blood Conflict October 27, 2001 1 1:03 Augusta, Georgia, United States
Win 13–2 Fabiano Iha Decision (unanimous) UFC 33 September 28, 2001 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 12–2 B.J. Penn KO (knee and punches) UFC 32 June 29, 2001 1 2:42 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Win 12–1 Scott Johnson Submission (armbar) RSF 1: Redemption in the Valley April 21, 2001 1 3:11 Wheeling, West Virginia, United States
Win 11–1 Stephen Palling Submission (triangle choke) SuperBrawl 20 February 23, 2001 1 3:52 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 10–1 Jens Pulver Submission (heel hook) WEF: New Blood Conflict August 26, 2000 2 0:33 United States Won ISCF World Lightweight Championship
Win 9–1 Don Banville TKO (corner stoppage) World Extreme Fighting 9: World Class May 13, 2000 2 4:00 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 8–1 Dokonjonosuke Mishima TKO (doctor stoppage) Shooto – R.E.A.D. 2 March 17, 2000 2 3:37 Tokyo, Japan Stoppage due to cut.
Win 7–1 Tim Douglas Submission (armbar) Reality Combat Fighting 4 February 19, 2000 1 0:45 Houma, Louisiana, United States
Win 6–1 Ken Allen Technical Submission (guillotine choke) World Extreme Fighting 7: Stomp in the Swamp October 9, 1999 1 3:16 Kenner, Louisiana, United States
Loss 5–1 Caol Uno Submission (rear-naked choke) Shooto: Renaxis 4 September 5, 1999 3 3:16 Tokyo, Japan
Win 5–0 Scott Bills Submission (triangle choke) World Extreme Fighting 5 February 21, 1999 1 3:46 United States
Win 4–0 Scott Bills TKO (retirement) World Extreme Fighting 4 December 19, 1998 1 5:00 United States
Win 3–0 Ed Lutz Submission (rear-naked choke) World Extreme Fighting 4 December 19, 1998 1 3:20 United States
Win 2–0 Rodney Brown Submission (keylock) Ybor Vale Tudo December 15, 1998 1 4:00 Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 1–0 Tomas Velazquez Submission (armbar) WVF: Jacksonville Vale Tudo 1 October 28, 1998 1 1:02 Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Steven Marrocco (March 22, 2020). "Din Thomas departs American Top Team, plans to groom more fighters". mmafighting.com.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved December 1, 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Din Thomas". IMDb.
  4. ^ Dana White: Lookin' for a Fight (TV Series 2015– ) - IMDb, retrieved April 20, 2022
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "UFC Fight Night 11 Shaping Up". Nokaut.com. July 12, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 12, 2007.
  7. ^ "'KenFlo' Replaces Spencer Fisher for UFC Main Event". UFC.com. August 7, 2007. Archived from the original on August 20, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  8. ^ "Report: UFC Cuts Thomas, Speer, and Hironaka". MMA Junkie.com. May 5, 2008. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "UFC Vet Din Thomas Injured in Car Accident, Misses Main Event Return". Mmafighting.com. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "Brent Weedman and Din Thomas retire". www.fighters.com. January 2, 2014. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Matt Bricker (June 1, 2018). "Din Thomas: The Coaching Mindset From One of the Best". mmasucka.com.
  13. ^ "Din Thomas - A Veteran's Journey Continues this Thursday". UFC.com. January 23, 2007. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
  14. ^ "UFC's Din Thomas ARRESTED". www.angrymarks.com. October 30, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 2, 2007. Retrieved November 30, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ a b "Din Thomas". UFC.ca. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  17. ^ "ISCF Past Champions". Iscfmma.com. Retrieved October 8, 2017.

External linksEdit