Din Thomas, a long-serving coach at American Top Team in South Florida, has parted ways with the world famous MMA gym.
Thomas announced his departure, which he says was amicable, to MMA Fighting. The long-time coach says he now plans to train fighters as a head coach.
“I just feel like it’s time for me to move on,” Thomas, a former fighter, said. “I was with them for 19 years. My justification is if Tom Brady can leave the Patriots after 20, I can leave ATT after 19. There’s a lot of fighters I want to work with, and I can’t get to them because of my affiliation. I want to be able to have more freedom to work with people and develop different people without having a structure behind me.”
“It was a tough decision for me, because I love ATT – it’s always been my family,” Thomas added. “It’s just I’m getting older and I don’t want to do it under that format any more. It’s not bad terms, I just want more freedom to do my own thing.”
MMA Fighting also spoke with American Top Team owner Dan Lambert, who confirmed the split was amicable.
“He was a great teammate and then a great coach,” ATT owner Dan Lambert told MMA Fighting via text. “I’m sure he will be very successful regardless of the path he is choosing.”
Din Thomas is already the handler for former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, and he intends to expand his roster of students over the coming months. He also intends to launch an online training program.
“If they don’t get better, that’s my fault, and I take responsibility for that,” he said. “If they get better, I did my job correctly. I’m not afraid of that responsibility.”
Which fighters do you think would benefit from the tutelage of Din Thomas?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/23/2020.