Aw shit … this has not been a good couple of months for Din Thomas. He exploded his kneeball against Kenny Florian back at Ultimate Fight Night 11, and now he’s being arrested and given felony charges for hosting a smoker at his gym:

Din Thomas, almost a legend in the ultimate fighting world, was arrested Tuesday after police say he ran “illegal cage fighting” matches at a local training studio that he runs, a police spokesman said.

Thomas, 31, faces a felony prohibited competitions charge after police got a tip Oct. 19 about the matches at a facility he uses in St. Lucie West.

Inside, they observed two men fighting in an octagon-shaped ring surrounded by about 150 spectators. The fights reportedly weren’t sanctioned.

The silver lining in this was that the newspaper called Din “almost a legend in the ultimate fighting world”. Not too shabby for a TUF wash up, huh? Of course, it doesn’t make up for the downside: that the law is not on Din’s side. Here’s Florida’s laws regarding this:

548.008 Prohibited competitions.–

(1) No match involving amateurs which utilizes, but is not necessarily limited to, strikes or blows to the head may be held in this state unless it is sanctioned and supervised by an amateur sanctioning organization approved by the commission as required by this chapter.

(2) No amateur mixed martial arts match may be held in this state.

(3) No professional match may be held in this state unless it meets the requirements for holding the match as provided in this chapter and the rules adopted by the commission.

(4)(a) Any person participating in a match prohibited under this section, knowing the match to be prohibited, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) Any person holding, promoting, or sponsoring a match prohibited under this section commits a felony

This is a pretty big fucking deal … smokers (exhibition matches) are a massive part of amateur MMA. If police start throwing gym owners in jail because of them, who knows what’s next?

There’s enough grey area in MMA training to throw quite a few innocent people in jail. What constitutes an illegal fight? If these guys were wearing headgear would it have been considered sparring or fighting? If there were 50 people there instead of 150? Is the key component a $5 door fee?

A felony is pretty fucking serious business … this could end very badly for Din. There’s not enough details right now to say for sure what’s going on, but I don’t like this one bit. You better believe I’m gonna follow this closely and update on it as the story progresses.

Yeah … another day, another problem with WordPress. Now it seems like comments aren’t being accepted, so please don’t spend 10 minutes writing out long detailed messages because the site is currently a black hole.

If anyone has any ideas what could be causing this, please email me at news@fightlinker.com … most of the fun I get from this site is reading the comments, so without that I’ll wilt like a rose without water :-(

**Update** Okay, I think shit is fixed, but I would really really appreciate it if people gave it a shot and emailed me at news@fightlinker.com if their comment doesn’t appear immediately after they post it. I don’t ask for much, ya know! So yeah. Dooooo it!

Monte Cox was on Sherdog radio two days ago to talk about M-1. For the most part, Monte went through all the same talking points that have been repeated since their press conference two weeks ago. But one interesting thing worth talking about was M-1’s attempt to get on TV:

Cox confirmed that M-1 was still meeting with organizations on Friday and against on Monday to discuss terms of deals. He stated that on Tuesday, the organization will begin mulling over the terms of each deal and pick the best one that fits the organization. He did mention one confirmation of a rumor. ESPN is apparently in the running.

It’s pretty bold of them to make it sound like they’ve got TV deals left and right … like the hard part is going to be choosing between all their options. Considering the number of organizations which have fallen on their swords because they couldn’t get a TV deal worth more than the paper it was printed on, I seriously doubt this. And ESPN is ‘in the running’? Very interesting.

The MMA Analyst article goes over a number of reasons why ESPN would work with M-1 when they won’t work with the UFC. But they missed a very obvious reason: The UFC probably wants a fuckload of money and tons of conditions. ESPN is shameless in what they’ll cover … half the shit they show barely qualifies as sports. I have no doubt that M-1 could wrangle a hairy balls contract with them that will most likely result in their show getting a month delayed broadcast on Tuesday at 1am. But what the fuck is that worth?

I have no idea how the hell Chris Lytle keeps on getting fights in the UFC. This guy has had more last chances to prove his worth as a fighter than Britney Spears has to prove she’s not a fucking crack whore.

But let’s be realistic here: Chris Lytle has already gone as high as he’s gonna go. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks … unless of course you send that dog to Fairtex in Thailand for six months. But old dogs never seem to want to go to Thailand. So in that case they should be ground up and turned into dogfood.

I suppose that’s an apt analogy, because that’s what’s about to happen to Chris. He’s going to be fighting Thiago ‘Pitbull’ Alves at UFC 78, who has quietly been laying down some serious pulpings in the UFC over the past two years. His most memorable win to me was when he beat the beard off Tony DeSouza’s face, although his smashing of Kuniyoshi Hironaka was something else as well. It’s too bad it was only a preliminary fight, just like this one.

Ah well … this is kinda like a double whammy for us now: Chris Lytle gets yet another failed chance to prove he’s got what it takes, and Thiago Alves gets a respectable name to chew up and spit out. Everyone wins … except the fans that wanna see this fight. It’s stuck on the prelims, which is a shame. Fingers crossed it makes the swing bout!

We here at Fightlinker snickered at the idea that last week’s UFC press conference was anything other than an attempt to take away from Randy Couture’s spotlight. But apparently the UFC was somewhat serious when they said their conference wasn’t about Couture. Because now they’re having another conference, and it’s going to be all about Couture. No pro wrestlers. No Wand/Chuck. No Spike. Just Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and tens of thousands of people on the internet.

You know this is the UFC’s first ‘real strike’ in the PR war being waged over Randy Couture because they sent out an email regarding it to everyone subscribed to their mailing list. I have to wonder how many people that is … I’m thinking a freaking lot. And you have to assume this is gonna be pretty serious. You don’t see the Fertittas coming down from their ivory casinos too often to deal with mundane business dealings. The last time Lorenzo has been directly involved in a press conference was when the UFC bought Pride. If this conference has any of the same impact on the MMA world, then we’re in for a doozy.

Even Randy Couture seems to be battening down the hatches … all those not so nice blogs from his Xtreme Couture site have disappeared, and I wonder now if he’s landed himself in some serious trouble by breaking unknown confidentiality agreements. Of course, who knows if public misrepresentation of his terms by the UFC gives him the ability to make counter-statements. Fuck, isn’t this turning into a right mess!

All in all, a storm is a brewin’, and it’s going to be interesting to see what the result is.

(and don’t forget boys and girls … your faithful Fightlinker will be on UFC.com in person to give you the minute by minute breakdown of what’s happening. I know most of you have jobs that keep you from watching videos and having fun, so it’ll be my responsibility to keep you informed. Tune in at 4pm EST for the live-blogging shenanigans)

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