Longtime American Top Team (ATT) coach Din Thomas will be departing the gym.
Thomas — who has notably cornered former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley among others — confirmed the news to MMA Fighting as he looks to train and develop fighters as a head coach.
“I just feel like it’s time for me to move on,” Thomas 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. 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.”
Thomas used to compete in the UFC where he compiled a 5-4 record. He retired in 2013 and later transitioned to coaching at ATT where he helped the likes of Woodley, Greg Hardy, Gillian Robertson, Antonio Carlos Junior and others.
He now plans to work on an online MMA program and will eventually add clients to his roster. It’s a big responsibility, but Thomas is prepared for it.
“If they don’t get better, that’s my fault, and I take responsibility for that,” he added. “If they get better, I did my job correctly. I’m not afraid of that responsibility.”
What do you make of Thomas parting ways with ATT?