Luke Thomas (journalist)

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Luke Thomas
Born (1979-08-05) August 5, 1979 (age 43)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service1998–2005
RankUSMC-E5.svg Sergeant
OccupationCombat sports journalist for CBS Sports & Showtime
Years active2006–present

Luke Thomas (born August 5, 1979[1]) is an American combat sport analyst.[2][3] As of October 2020, Thomas works for CBS Sports.

Between 2007-2019 Thomas worked as an MMA journalist[4][5][6][7] and radio host.[8][9][10]

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born in 1979[1] in the Republic of India,[11][12] to an American foreign service officer father and a Syrian of Armenian descent mother who lived in Lebanon.[13][14][15][16] Thomas mostly grew up in Washington, D.C., but lived in Marietta, Georgia for two years, graduating from Marietta High School.[17][18] He graduated from The College of William & Mary.[2] Between 1998–2005[19] he served in Battery H of the 3rd Battalion 14th Marines in Richmond, Virginia,[17] reaching the rank of sergeant.[2]

While in college he started training in Judo, and while serving in the military he participated in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.[20]


Thomas has been dedicatedly following mixed martial arts since 2004.[17]

Between February 2006[21] and May 2007[22] (inactive between July 2006 and March 2007[23]) Thomas founded and wrote commentary on his MMA dedicated blog,[22][24][25][26] with his online identity known as Mad Squabbles.[27][28] In March 2007 the popular MMA website began promoting his articles.[29][30] described the blog: "probably the best blog i’ve seen pop up in the past six months. Definately [sic] worth bookmarking and visiting every day."[31] From April 2007, leading MMA website (acquired by SB Nation in 2009 as[32]) selected Mad Squabbles as one of its MMA beat reporters for its official MMA fighter ranking poll.[33]

Between 2008 and late 2010[19] he was color commentating live broadcast fight cards for the regional MMA promotion Ultimate Warrior Challenge.[34][35]

Between 2008 and 2012[19] Thomas was host to sports talk radio show MMA Nation on WJFK-FM (CBS Radio's 106.7 The Fan).[36][37] From 2012[19] to August 2020[38] he was the host of The Luke Thomas Show on Sirius XM radio (Rush, channel 93).[39][40][41][42]

Between 2007 and 2011[19] contrary to a common misconception,[24][43][44] Thomas was not the founder or co-founder of SB Nation's first MMA sports blog Bloody Elbow (launched February 15, 2007[45]). Founder Nate Wilcox (Kid Nate) recruited Thomas to help run it on May 21, 2007.[22][24][25][26] Thomas eventually became editor in chief of[20][46] It was reviewed as one of the best MMA news & media blogs online.[20][47][48][49] Currently it is the #5 most popular MMA media & news website worldwide according to Alexa Internet.[50]

2011-2019[19] he was an MMA senior editor at SB Nation[51] and senior editor at[52] (acquired by SB Nation November 2011 from AOL[53]); a 2 million unique users per month website in 2011,[53] and currently the #3 most popular MMA media & news website worldwide according to Alexa Internet.[50] Also a two time (2013, 2015) World MMA Awards Media Source of the Year winner. Thomas was most notable on as a charter and regular panelist on The MMA Beat web series moderated by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani,[54][55] and for his weekly webcast Promotional Malpractice and podcast Monday Morning Analyst.[56]

Since late 2019 Thomas got hired by ViacomCBS, initially working for Showtime[57] and later for CBS Sports.[58]

Since then he has co-hosted a MMA/Boxing podcast called Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell (The King of Connecticut, The one and only BBC). Morning Kombat also does post fight reaction and analysis for PPVs and major events. Furthermore, Morning Kombat is renowned for their fan favourite documentary series in which the rigorous struggles of combat sports journalism are documented. The initial sequel in the series, titled Donkumentary 2.0: The Redemption is widely regarded as a masterpiece among the filmmaking community and receives regular praise for being a work of art. Luke provides in-depth analysis of fights and fighters on his other podcasts, Dissected, and The Luke Thomas live chat. Luke Thomas's live chat and his other podcasts are ranked #1 in best MMA podcast by Player FM. Morning Kombat won Best MMA Programming 2021 at the World MMA Awards.[59]

Professional views[edit]

Thomas stated he likes MMA fighting because "Struggle and fear tackled by athleticism, technical know-how and innate desires for self-preservation brings out a side in humanity that exists only in the deepest recesses of our being. MMA fighting has no peer when it comes to the demands the sport places on its participants both physically and psychologically. And I love watching that dynamic in action"".[20] But he hates everything else about the MMA world.[60] He thinks many of the individuals in the industry are "utterly detestable".[60] He suspects that "the majority of conversations [he has] with members of the fight community are either extended lies or at least contain a lie".[4] Therefore, he tries to keep his direct contact with MMA promotions to a minimum.[4][60]

He dislikes professional wrestling (pro wrestling) because "it sucks" and he doesn't like fiction.[61][62][63]

He is very irritated by MMA journalists or analysts who are "gigantic fat slobs". According to Thomas "One need not train five days a week to be a competent analyst of MMA, but experiencing the rigors of physical punishment certainly informs your judgment."[20]


On June 15, 2010, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White misunderstood a Twitter exchange discussing his "ineptness" as an MMA promoter, between a fan and MMA Nation talk radio show host Thomas. White tweeted back to the fan, attacking Thomas "u shouldn't even respond to this douche who doesn't know shit about the sport ... never heard of this clown or his website or whatever it is.". When White realized that Thomas in fact responded positively about him to the fan, he tweeted an apology and on July 1, 2010 gave a live telephone interview to Thomas on MMA Nation as compensation .[36][37]

Thomas,[64][65][66] and other MMA journalists and fans,[67][68][69][70][71][72][73] have criticized the UFC for putting on too many shows and thus diluting the quality of their product. On March 7, 2014; while watching Bellator 111 fight event which he reviewed on earlier that day,[74] Thomas tweeted "Dear ALL MMA Promoters: More MMA is not better. No one cares anymore. Better MMA is better. Please fix your product. Thanks in advance.". UFC president Dana White responded with the tweet "Dear whoever the hell u are. Nobody gives a shit what u think 02 is sold out and fans r pumped for 2 nite. Ur opinion=WGAF" (White was referring to March 8, UFC Fight Night 37 in London). When another Twitter member confronted White, tweeting " if nobody gives a shit what [Thomas] thinks, then why is he on @ufc countdown shows?" White responded with the tweet "I already said wont make that mistake again".[75] UFC Countdown shows are "UFC’s documentary series profiling the fighters appearing in upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship events"[76] also featuring prominent MMA media members point of view.

On March 24, 2016, Thomas revealed on The MMA Beat (Episode 102), that he is blocked from Dana White's Twitter feed. Fellow panelists, MMA journalists Chuck Mindenhall and Jeff Wagenheim stated the same, while Ariel Helwani was not.[77] Helwani has since been blocked.

Personal life[edit]

In January 2014, following the reported suicide of MMA female fighter Cat Zingano's husband, Thomas shared that his mother took her own life when he was 23 years old (2003). Thomas described his loss "a pain that is torturous and inextinguishable".[78]

Thomas's wife is Colombian born and raised in Bogotá.[79] They have one daughter together.


Thomas has been a 2014 Journalist Of The Year World MMA Awards nominee. [80]


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External links[edit]