UFC veteran Din Thomas has retired after 15 years of mixed martial arts competition.
Thomas began his pro career in 1998, posting a 12-1 record before falling to B.J. Penn in his 2001 UFC debut. “Dinyero” competed nine times in the Octagon during his long career, returning to the promotion in 2006 as a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 4” and submitting Rich Clementi at the show’s live finale. The American Top Team rep exited the UFC in 2008 with a 5-4 promotional record after besting the likes of Matt Serra, Clay Guida and Jeremy Stephens.
“UFC 168 could have driven the last nail in the coffin of any idea that anybody from my era could still be champion,” Thomas wrote in a press release. “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 ‘old-en age’ of MMA.
“Despite the sorrow that this harsh reality brings to me [and] any relevant fighter from the ’90s -- or the old-school, genuine fans that supported us -- it certainly brings comfort to my decision to officially retire over this monumental weekend. I suppose misery does love company. Yet, instead of pondering over ‘what ifs,’ ‘should’ves’ and ‘could’ves,’ I appreciate and celebrate my time spent, devotion given, and influence I had on MMA.”
The 37-year-old last competed in April, when he dropped a unanimous decision to current WSOF featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan under the Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championship banner. Thomas now retires with a career mark of 26-9 with one no-contest, earning 22 of his victories by either knockout or submission.