While trades in professional sports such as the NFL, NBA and MLB is nothing new and fairly commonplace, in the world of MMA it’s not something you run across very often.
So you can imagine the surprise that former “The Ultimate Fighter 5” cast member and current TKO 135-pound champion Noah Thomas got when he was informed that he had been traded from TKO to XMMA.
“It did come as a total surprise,” Thomas told MMAInsider.
The trade comes on the heels of longtime TKO President Stephan Patry leaving the promotion in November to startup the new Strikebox sport/promotion. Following the initial shock of what had happened; Noah has come to terms with the situation and looks at it now as a new challenge.
“I did not foresee Stephan stepping down, but change is good and it’s not a big deal,” he said. “I’m really excited about the trade to XMMA and I’m looking forward to facing their 135ers.”
Thomas only fought once for TKO, capturing their 135-pound title in October from Adrian Wooley, and as he sees it, the title is his still to hold on to.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m still the TKO champ,” exclaimed Noah. “So if they want the belt, they’ll have to come get it. I took it home and it’s in a safe, and that’s where it belongs.”