It's been nearly two years, but long-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Din Thomas will finally return to mixed martial arts (MMA) action on Oct. 7, 2011.
"Dinyero" tells Sherdog.com that he has agreed to take on George Sheppard in the main event of the aptly-named Fight Time 7: "The Return" at the War Memorial Auditorium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Thomas, a "Sunshine State" native, was expected to take on Cage Fighting Championship (CFC) champion Bernardo Magalhaes in Australia at some point this month; however, that bout apparently fell through.
Thomas was considered a top contender in the UFC's stacked 155-pound division prior to suffering back-to-back losses to Kenny Florian and Josh Neer. Following his consecutive goose eggs, Thomas announced his desire to compete at 145 pounds.
He never got the chance.
Thomas was cut from the promotion and then began to compete on the regional circuit shortly thereafter. He scored a submission win (triangle choke) over Dustin Pierkin at Headhunter Productions "The Patriot Act" back in Feb. 2009 followed by a technical knockout victory (knee) over Gabe Lemley at "March Badness" just over a month later.
The 34-year-old veteran was back in the headlines after he accepted a Shine Fights main event opposite professional boxer Ricardo Mayorga, but a last-minute lawsuit from a disgruntled boxing promoter -- and a lack of funds required to stage the pay-per-view (PPV) event -- left the fans (and fighters) high and dry.
Thomas hasn't competed since stopping Dustin Pague (technical knockout) at WEF: "Brasco vs. Whitesel" in Jan. 2010. He is currently riding a three-fight win streak.