Will Din Thomas' decision prove to be fruitful?
- After 19 years at ATT Din Thomas has decided to go his own route
- Location, clients, and coaches are the top three questions for Din now
There comes a time in everyone's life when they need a change. After 19 years with American Top Team, Din Thomas will be stepping out on his own.
It comes at the most turbulent time in the world for businesses. Due to the coronavirus many gyms have shut their doors for the time being, if not permanently. Now can the likes of ATT, AKA, and JW continue? Yes, absolutely. The mega gyms will always have clients. But the small "mom and pop" type gyms may not have the same outlook.
Since retiring in 2014, the 43-year-old has done fairly well financially, especially recently, by being a co-member of the Dana White 'looking for a fight' program, as well as working with fellow co-member Matt Serra on the Unfiltered show. Doing things his way, under his guidance was always in the pipeline for him.
It's not like he's no longer part of ATT so all relationships are snapped. There was no bridge burning on either side. From him or Dan Lambert. And Dan's far from the only gym owner he has a working relationship with. The best example is him helping Dick Roufus train Tyron Woodley.
So the big questions unanswered right now are: 1- If he uses a brick and mortar building, where will it be located? 2- Who will he use as coaching staff? And 3- who will his clients be?
His home is in Florida. So could the southern state see the addition of a little engine that could compete in market space with ATT and Hardknocks 365 for example. Would he come up north to the NY area near his good friend Serra? Highly doubtful though with Matt co-owning his gym with Ray Longo and Chris Weidman.
Fighters move from gym to gym all the time. It's like T.J. Dillashaw once said, "it's the way a fighter becomes a complete martial artist, learning multiple ways". Thomas said; "hey, if Tom Brady can leave the Patriots after 20 years, I can leave ATT after 19". It would behoove Din to hit up every fighter he's worked with and ask if they'd like to continue to be clients. But just how many would leave the confines of a mega-gym like the Coconut Creek location is hard to say. There's countless training partners, there's 44,000 square feet of space not to get in anyone's way.
But a safe bet is he'll hit up those fighters he met and talked with on "Looking for a Fight" and build a group bottom up from there. Coaches on the other hand will be tougher to poach from established gyms. He may 1st look to most recently retired fighters looking to stay in the game. There certainly a plethora of them littered all over Florida and New York. Beside Serra another TUF season 4 teammate he's close with is BKFC fighter Chris Lytle.
When starting out on your own it can be daunting at first. With the relationships he has in the game you can say he's in front of a giant roulette wheel. Now it just has to land on all the right places.Published 24 Mar 2020, 01:17 IST