DrunkinMidget187 - You went 3-2 in your last run in the UFC, with only one definitive loss and finishing two of your wins. You are 3-0 all by stoppage since. Do you think the 155 lbs division in the UFC is the widest talent pool in the UFC, and do you think your return may be delayed due to so many 155ers being on the roster?
Din - 155 has always had the deepest talent pool and the best fighters. Think about it, if you look at any other division, there’s like 4 or 5 guys that truly stand ahead of the pack and the rest are just kind of battling it out. 155 has about 15 - 20 guys ahead of the pack. When you consider that even the current champ at 155 has been the underdog in his last 3 fights, that has to say something about the division. Additionally 155 fighters seem to be the only fighters that can fight competitively and excel (in general) in multiple weight classes.
Thorazine - After the Josh Neer fight why weren’t you invited to the WEC at 145lbs?
Din - After the Neer fight, I was in desperate need of a break. Even though my frequency of fighting wasn't always so frequent, I have been able to maintain longevity in mma because I knew when to break, hit the drawing board, and reinvent myself. I have always maintained a good relationship with WEC and could have lobbied to get into that organization immediately. But I chose not to in order to go back in the lab and prepare more. Im in no hurry.
Jrandolph - In your 13 years, was there ever a time you seriously considered walking away from the sport?
Din - In 13 years, I considered walking away from MMA, probably….everyday. But it’s like crack. It just keeps calling you back.
RachHeartsMMA - Do you think you’ll ever go back to lightweight? (DetroitDrew adds) Or do you see your best chance to return to the UFC being @ 145lbs? (Thorazine adds) do you use an IV bag to re-hydrate and about how many MMA fighters do so? (Judopei adds) What is your walk around weight? Basically asking what do you cut?
Din - Right now, Im walking at close to 170lbs. With my style of fighting I don't see me competing at 155lbs. Competing makes more sense for me at 145lbs. With my frame, I am just hard to deal with for guys at that weight. In the past, I have used an IV to rehydrate. Almost every fighter that I know (that cuts more than 15lbs) uses an IV to rehydrate. As far as my cutting process, I always found it best to start my cut at 160lbs. So right now, Im a fat ass.
Bigger Zino - Does dropping to 145lbs allow you compete at a higher level? In the Florian fight you tore up your knee pretty bad and I’m wondering if you’re still living with pain from that injury and if this drop in weight played any role in the decision? (Ulf Murphy adds) What was the first thought in your head upon blowing out your knee against Kenny Florian? (satarma adds) Would you like to have a shot at Florian again, to avenge that loss?
Din - Dropping to 145 doesn’t allow me to ‘compete’ at a higher level. I can compete at a high level of any weight. My training and style allows me to do so. For instance, ATT main academy sometimes splits the training sessions up by weights, I can get in and work with anybody, regardless of weight. But I could never dominate and higher weight class. I think we saw that on my season of TUF. I was competitive with Chris Lytle, but I couldn’t dominate him. As for the Florian fight, I tore my meniscus. It was the 3rd time that I did it. When it happened, the only thing that popped into my head was, "NOT AGAIN!" Since that fight, I have been to Boston numerous times and developed quite the friendship with Kenny. I have stayed at his house to help him train for fights. Im one of his biggest fans.
Puck Head - Prior to the fight being canceled vs Ricardo Mayorga a fight I was looking forward too, you two had a heated pre fight press conference were Mayorga blew smoke in your face and gave you a quick chop to the neck were it appeared you were in a little bit of Pain could you let us know WTF went down and your thoughts on Mayorga as a fighter and person? Now that the fight is not happening it is easy to say this or that would have happened but how did you see the fight with Mayorga going down? And do you believe boxers have much of a chance in MMA with limited ground skills? (satarma adds) If it were absolutely guaranteed to happen, would you still take a fight with Mayorga?
Din - I remember that as soon as the press conference was released, everybody started asking me if I was ok from the slap. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I had to wait a whole day to watch it because I was stuck in NY with no computer. He barely grazed my face and I was looking to shoot on him immediately. Had that bouncer not been there, we would all be talking about how Mayorga got choked out in a press conference. I don’t really know Mayorga as a person. But I have a lot of respect for him. He had his mother and family at the fight and had a lot of people that cared about him next to him. He couldn’t be that bad of a guy and have so many supporters around him. In the event of a fight with him in the future, I would love to fight him. But I doubt it will ever happen. And for the record, anybody with no ground skills, whether a boxer, kickboxer, streetfighter, etc, will have very little success in MMA. YOU NEED A GROUND GAME.
DetroitDrew - Din what are your thoughts on the rumors that Nick Diaz is trying set up a boxing match with Ricardo Mayorga?
Din - That could be interesting.
LJ - Din- Will you please drag Mayweather into the octagon and whoop his ass for all of us?!?!?
Din - I have been trying.
Ulf Murphy - You haven’t fought professionally in over a year. When is your next fight?
Din - My last fight was January, 2010. Since then I was scheduled to fight Mayorga in March. Then that was pushed back to April. Then pushed back to May. Then it was ultimately canceled. After that, I was scheduled to fight in the WEF. A week before the fight, it was called off. They couldn’t find a quality opponent in a week’s time. So me not fighting in a year wasn’t really my fault. I should have fought twice since my last fight. But what it did was opened my eyes to my life. Most people don’t realize the sacrifices a fighter makes to prepare and compete at a high level. You don’t just show up and fight when you want. It takes months of physical and mental preparation. And while you are preparing, you are sacrificing time, money, relationships, and life in general. So while I wasn’t able to compete last year, I still spent 6 months preparing as if I was competing. By putting your life on hold like that, a lot of things suffer: my schools, my relationships, and my money. As of now, Im not fighting until I put myself in a position to afford to train and fight as a professional hobbyist. Im not a 20 year old, broke, up and comer, looking to make a name. Im a 34 year old, broke, veteran, looking to keep a name – LOL.
IrishKev - At 34 years old and having over 30 fights, do you feel you have the skills and experience to rule the 145 division against the younger guys like Aldo, Grispi, Hominick etc. (ricky~dooby adds) What is your prediction on the Jose Aldo/ Mark Hominick fight?
Din - Without a doubt, I do. Generally the talent is deepest amongst younger fighters. But the best fighters are early 30’s or pushing 30. Im about the same age as Anderson. Plus we look alike so watch out. As for the Aldo/Hominick fight. This fight could be a little different since this is the first kickboxer based opponent we’ve seen Aldo fight. This could force Aldo to use his other skills. Or we will see if he is so far advanced athletically from everybody else, that he just gets the job done. Its interesting. But I still see Aldo retaining his belt. Not to take anything away from Hominick. He is a sharp, solid fighter with a tremendous work ethic and big heart. But not sure he has what it takes to beat Aldo.
JamPark - Who would your dream fight be against and why?
Din - The fan in the 4th row of every fight that keeps yelling, "Stand up and fight like a man, you pussy!"
ViolentMike - At UFC 41 when you fought Matt Serra, what were your first thoughts when the score cards were read? Did you feel that you won the fight? Or did you think that the fight was close enough to go either way? Also, who delivered the message to you that one of the judges made an error on the score card and you actually won the fight by split decision and how did that conversation go?
Din - I was %100 convinced that I won that fight. We came up with a game plan for that fight and I felt I executed it beautifully. I didn’t know how I could have lost because I never got hit really and didn’t get taken down until 10 seconds left in the 3rd round. I didn’t know what could have went wrong. I was confused more than anything. Then when I went to the back, Dana White came right in and told me I won. At first, I thought he was just giving me his opinion. But he was, indeed, telling me that I won. My crew got excited. But I was still left with a bad taste. Part of the glory of winning is getting your hand raised. I was robbed of that. Me and Matt joke about that all the time. To this day, he won that fight. haha
Thorazine - You beat Clay Guida in 2007 are you surprised with his success in the 155lb UFC Division?
Din - No I’m not. Clay is a spectacular fighter and a good student of the game. He learns and improves every time. I’m not surprised with his success. I’m really very happy for him. I love when guys do well in their career.
Ulf Murphy - Would you encourage your son to become a professional mixed martial artist? Why? Why not?
Din - I don’t really care what my son does as long as he does it with passion and with 100% effort. He can walk in the room right now and tell me he wants to be a florist. I’ll tell him to take his little ass outside and start picking flowers because he better be the best florist on the block.
Thorazine - When you were arrested in Oct of 2007 in Florida for holding an illegal fight, how shocked were you when it happened? (Of course you were cleared 1 month later.)
Din - I was pretty shocked. Smokers happen everywhere…everywhere. In fact, we had police officers in attendance. I’ve been to smokers that had police officers fighting. I felt like I was being singled out and taken advantage of from a lack of activity in my area. I must be careful and trust no one because you just never know. But what was even more shocking is the "so called" fans that still think I was holding underground, illegal fights in a warehouse. That is disheartening.
Diceman - What is the most difficult thing about training, to you? What is your favorite part of training?
Din - I love training. I love training more than anything in the world really. Training for fights is difficult though. Training to train is different from training for a fight. Training for a fight is only fun for the middle month of a 3 month camp. The first month sucks because you are still adjusting and probably not in that good of shape. The last month sucks because you are so sick of doing the same moves over and over and over again. But the middle of a fight camp can’t be topped.
satarma - Din, is the anti-bullying seminar you held something that you’ll do again, perhaps on a regular basis? Or was that a onetime thing?
Din - I may do that anti-bully seminar annually. I am planning other free community seminars as well. Ricardo Liborio wants me to help him do an anti bully seminar at the main academy in Coconut Creek.
Dakatak/Thorazine - It is well known that a majority of MMA Fighters will not be able to financially retire after fighting, what are your long-term goals/plans after fighting? What do you see yourself doing after you retire? (Deuce adds) I’ve read that you have 2 gyms, is this true? Talk a little about your relationship with ATT and how they feel about you operating your own gym(s). Do the guys at ATT see this as a positive thing, or does the situation become awkward in some instances? Do you ever have the opportunity to bring over guys from ATT to work with students at your gym? Do you train strictly at ATT for your fights, or do you also train at your gym(s) as well? (Thorazine adds) Are you still with American Top Team and who are your main training partners?
Din - Yes, I own 2 ATT gyms, one in Port St. Lucie, Fl and the other in Stuart, Fl. I’m also the head instructor at the ATT in Longwood, Fl. As I stated in an early question, you can see how preparing for fights all the time can put a strain on some things at my schools. I do not run my schools like most schools. I have structures and systems that require a lot of attention, focus, and manpower to run them. Luckily for me I have a great staff that does a good job for me when I can’t be there. My relationship with other ATT schools and fighters has always been amazing. A lot of other school owners ask me for advice sometimes. The fighters miss me sometimes because I don’t get to train with them too often. I miss that too. In the past, I’ve had some fighters come up. But now most of them are just so busy that its difficult. Same as I can’t go down there to help them train, they can’t come up to make appearances at my schools. But the love is still there. I’m getting excited just thinking about training with my boys. We have some epic battles. Here’s a few guys that I just love working with and the feeling is mutual, I’m sure: Gleison Tibau, Mike Brown, Thiago Alves, Yves Edwards, Tyron Woodley, Micah Miller, Jorge Masvidal, Rich Attonito, Luigi Fiorivante, Ben Saunders, and JZ Calvalcanti. I do train abroad and outside of ATT when I get a chance. I’ve had some good times with Kenny Florian, Eddie Alvarez, Ben Askren, and others. I’m coming to see you soon too. But right now my focus is my students. In addition to that, I just started doing improv and I’m still commentating and just staying as busy as I can in whatever I can do to help.