Luke Thomas (journalist)

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Luke Thomas (born August 5, 1979[1]) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) journalist,[2][3][4][5] analyst.[6][7] radio host,[8][9][10] As of June 25, 2018, he is the host of The MMA Hour, replacing Ariel Helwani, who originally hosted the web show from 2009 until 2018.

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 DC, and Georgia, United States.[17] He graduated from The College of William & Mary.[6] Between 1998-2005[18] he served in Battery H of the 3rd Battalion 14th Marines in Richmond, Virginia,[17] reaching the rank of sergeant.[6]

While in college he started training in Judo, and while serving in the military he participated in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.[19] After serving in the Marines, Thomas wanted to pursue a career as a professional mixed martial artist but an injury while training before his debut fight caused him to pursue a career in MMA media full-time.[20]

Career[edit]

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

Between February 2006[21] - May 2007[22] (inactive July 2006-March 2007[23]) Thomas founded and wrote commentary on his MMA dedicated blog Mad-Squabbles.com,[22][24][25][26] with his online identity known as Mad Squabbles.[27][28] In March 2007 the popular MMA website Fightopinion.com began promoting his articles.[29][30] Fightlinker.com described the blog: "probably the best blog i’ve seen pop up in the past 6 months. Definately [sic] worth bookmarking and visiting every day."[31] From April 2007, leading MMA website UFCmania.com (acquired by SB Nation in 2009 as MMAmania.com[32]) selected Mad Squabbles as one of its MMA beat reporters for its official MMA fighter ranking poll.[33]

Between 2008-late 2010[18] he was color commentating live broadcast fight cards for the regional MMA promotion Ultimate Warrior Challenge.[34][35]

Between 2008-2012;[18] Thomas was host to sports talk radio show MMA Nation on WJFK-FM (CBS Radio's 106.7 The Fan).[36][37] From 2012-currently;[18] he is the host of The Luke Thomas Show on Sirius XM radio (Rush, channel 93).[38][39][40][41]

Between 2007-2011;[18] contrary to a common misconception,[24][42][43] Thomas wasn't the founder or co-founder of SB Nation's first MMA sports blog BloodyElbow.com (launched February 15, 2007[44]). 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 BloodyElbow.com.[19][45] It was reviewed as one of the best MMA news & media blogs online.[19][46][47][48] Currently it is the #5 most popular MMA media & news website worldwide according to Alexa Internet.[49]

From 2011-currently;[18] he is an MMA senior editor at SB Nation[50] and senior editor at MMAFighting.com[51] (acquired by SB Nation November 2011 from AOL[52]); a 2 million unique users per month website in 2011,[52] and currently the #3 most popular MMA media & news website worldwide according to Alexa Internet.[49] Also a two time (2013,2015) World MMA Awards Media Source of the Year winner. Thomas is most notable on MMAFighting.com as a charter and regular panelist on The MMA Beat web series moderated by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani,[53][54] and for his weekly webcast Promotional Malpractice and podcast Monday Morning Analyst.[55]

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"".[19] But he hates everything else about the MMA world;[56] He thinks many of the individuals in the industry are "utterly detestable".[56] 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".[2] Therefore, he tries to keep his direct contact with MMA promotions to a minimum.[2][56]

He dislikes Professional wrestling (Pro-wrestling) because "it sucks" and he doesn't like fiction.[57][58][59]

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."[19]

Controversy[edit]

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,[60][61][62] and other MMA journalists and fans,[63][64][65][66][67][68][69] 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 Mmafighting.com earlier that day,[70] 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".[71] UFC Countdown shows are "UFC’s documentary series profiling the fighters appearing in upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship events"[72] 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.[73] 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 inextingushible".[74]

Thomas's wife is Colombian born and raised in Bogota.[75]

Thomas is into Oenophilia, since his family is in the wine business.[19]

Awards[edit]

Thomas has been a 2014 Journalist Of The Year World MMA Awards nominee. [76]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Luke Thomas Talks a Good Fight". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Deitsch, Richard. "MMA media roundtable; more Media Circus". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Brian Stann to Host New MMA Show on SiriusXM | Fight Network". Fight Network. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor: Why the super fight is almost an impossibility". Irish Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Radio (1 p.m. ET): Chas Skelly, Luke Thomas, Richard Hunter, Sammy T. Squid, Jason Lackey". MMAjunkie. 16 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Luke Thomas". MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  7. ^ "'Bigger than Ronda Rousey'". News.com.au. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Russian Emelianenko brings big reputation to the States - USATODAY.com". USA Today. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Jon Jones USADA Arbitration a Marathon, Decision Pending". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  10. ^ "UWC-Confrontation Pre-Party with WJFK 106.7 | On The Mat". www.onthemat.com. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  11. ^ Thomas, Luke (16 January 2008). "Couture, "Operation: All In" Raise $90,000". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Born in India". Twitter (Luke Thomas verified account). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  13. ^ "LukeThomas/About". Google+ (Luke Thomas verified account). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Luke Thomas on Tim Kennedy calling Edmond Tarverdyan 'terrorist sympathiser' • /r/MMA". Reddit (Luke Thomas verified account). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Armenian Mother 1". Twitter (Luke Thomas verified account). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Armenian mother 2". Twitter (Luke Thomas verified account ). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "Episode 7: Luke Thomas unleashes the spinning piledriver | DC IMPROV | Comedy Club, Restaurant, Bar, School N.W. Washington D.C." The Improv. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Lukethomasmma". Linkedin. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Better Know a Blogger: Bloody Elbow's Luke Thomas". SB Nation. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  20. ^ https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/theater/article/13037400/luke-thomas-talks-a-good-fight
  21. ^ "Blogger: User Profile: Luke (Archived)". Blogger (service). 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  22. ^ a b c "MAD SQUABBLES: A Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Blog (Archived)". www.mad-squabbles.com. 19 December 2007. Archived from the original on 19 December 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "So, are you blogging or what? (Archived)". www.mad-squabbles.com. 29 June 2007. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  24. ^ a b c "Ask Luke Anything: Why Did You Start BloodyElbow.com?". YouTube (Luke Thomas official channel). Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  25. ^ a b Haynes, Stephie (19 June 2013). "The History of Bloody Elbow & notable Moments". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  26. ^ a b "Farewell, my sweet Bloody Elbow logo... - Fightlinker.com | RM Sports". Fightlinker.com. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
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  29. ^ "Wednesday hot topics". www.FightOpinion.com. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
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  31. ^ "Thursday MMA headlines | Fightlinker.com comment". 2 March 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  32. ^ Thomas, Luke (29 December 2008). "Huge Announcement: MMAMania.com Joins the SB Nation". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  33. ^ "UFC fighter rankings by UFCmania.com for April". SB Nation (MMAmania.com). Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  34. ^ "D.C. Sports Bog - Tommy the Green Ranger's local MMA debut". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  35. ^ "Is Ultimate Warrior Challenge the East Coast's Strikeforce?". MMAjunkie.com. 30 November 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  36. ^ a b Sharp, Andrew (16 June 2010). "Dana White Is Kind Of Awesome". SB Nation. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  37. ^ a b Thomas, Luke (1 July 2010). "UFC President Dana White Talks His "Zero" Interest in Fedor Emelianenko, Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin, the Delusion of James Toney and More on MMA Nation on 106.7 The Fan". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  38. ^ "Luke Thomas". Sirius XM Radio. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  39. ^ "Luke Thomas Profile, Activity and Communities". SB Nation. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  40. ^ "Khabib Nurmagomedov Demands Title Shot; Threatens to Block UFC in Russia". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  41. ^ "Vitor Belfort offers suggestions to increase fighter pay in UFC". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  42. ^ Alexander, Mookie (6 June 2013). "Luke Thomas talks Rampage, UFC fighter pay, more!". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  43. ^ Haynes, Stephie (7 April 2016). "TAP: Luke Thomas, MVP, Rob Whiteford, George Lockhart". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  44. ^ "Bloody Elbow :: An SB Nation blog for fans of UFC and Mixed Martial Arts (Archived)". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). 18 February 2007. Archived from the original on 18 February 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  45. ^ Alexander, Mookie (6 June 2013). "Former Bloody Elbow Editor in Chief Luke Thomas Joins". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  46. ^ "Best MMA Blog Sites - Top Picks (Archived)". www.kickassmma.com. 15 September 2010. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  47. ^ "TSJ's Top 10 MMA Websites (Archived)". www.thesportsjunkie.ca. 11 January 2011. Archived from the original on 11 January 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  48. ^ Bemis, Brian (3 June 2009). "Great MMA Web sites: My Top Choices". Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  49. ^ a b "Alexa - Top Sites by Category: Sports/Martial Arts/Submission Fighting and MMA/News and Media". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  50. ^ "Luke Thomas - SBNation.com". SB Nation. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  51. ^ "Luke Thomas - MMA Fighting". www.mmafighting.com. SB Nation (MMAFighting.com). Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  52. ^ a b Ourand, John (7 November 2011). "SB Nation Acquires Combat Sports Site MMA Fighting from AOL". American City Business Journals (SportsBusinessDaily.com). Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  53. ^ "The MMA Beat - Episode One". YouTube (MMAFighting.com official channel). 8 September 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  54. ^ Schlinsky, Alex (6 June 2015). "Luke Thomas Shares Qualms With New UFC Drug Policy". SB Nation (MMAMania.com). Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  55. ^ Cole, Ross (11 January 2016). "10 MMA Podcasts Worth Checking Out (2016 Edition) - Page 4". www.mmainsight.com. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  56. ^ a b c "I am Luke Thomas, MMA journalist: AMA • /r/MMA". Reddit. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  57. ^ "MMA writers Jordan Breen and Luke Thomas are disgusted with pro-wrestling fans using MMA for validation". www.fightopinon.com. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  58. ^ Gould, K. J. (28 August 2010). "Luke Thomas' REAL Gripe About Pro Wrestling". www.cagesideseats.com. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  59. ^ Wilcox, Nate (7 September 2010). "More on the Great "Keep Your Pro Wrestling Out of My MMA" Debate". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  60. ^ Thomas, Luke (5 August 2013). "Signal to Noise: UFC 163's best and worst". SB Nation (MMAFighting.com). Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  61. ^ "Live Chat: UFC Fight Night weekend preview, GLORY 17 recap, over saturation debate". YouTube (MMAFighting.com official channel). 25 June 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  62. ^ Helwani, Ariel (11 July 2014). "MMA Beat on 176 cancellation, Rousey, Weidman, BJ". SB Nation (MMAFighting.com). Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  63. ^ "UFC Aftermath: Trying to Understand the "Angry Watching" Phenomenon". The Province. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  64. ^ Iole, Kevin. "Dana White says business is booming, will have $175 million economic impact in Las Vegas this week". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  65. ^ Raimondi, Marc (11 March 2015). "ONE CEO: Goal is to put on 50 shows per year". MMA Fighting. SB Nation (MMAFighting.com).
  66. ^ Schlinsky, Alex (15 November 2014). "UFC 180 Details: Who is Fighting, When And Why". SB Nation (MMAmania.com). Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  67. ^ Wyman, Patrick. "How the UFC Has Done More with Less in 2015". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  68. ^ "UFC's Oversaturation and Overcommitment Problems". www.mmanuts.com. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  69. ^ "MMA: Are too many shows watering down the sport?". www.FanSided.com. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  70. ^ Thomas, Luke (7 March 2014). "Bellator 111 predictions". SB Nation (MMAFighting.com). Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  71. ^ "UFC President Dana White Should Respond to Criticism, Not Mock It". CagePotato. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  72. ^ "UFC Countdown". A. Smith & Co.. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  73. ^ "The MMA Beat: Episode 102 (min 53:46-53:53)". YouTube (MMAFighting.com official channel). 24 March 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  74. ^ Wilcox, Nate (16 January 2014). "Luke Thomas on mourning suicide and Cat Zingano". SB Nation (BloodyElbow.com). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  75. ^ "Columbian wife". Twitter (Luke Thomas verified account). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  76. ^ Quigley, Paul. "7th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards winners list - Fighters Only Magazine". fightersonlymag.com. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.

External links[edit]