Inconsistency has plagued former UFC and Bellator welterweight Ryan Thomas on the biggest stages of MMA. So in order to change that, Thomas made the decision to join a new team and he feels things have begun to turn around.
“I’ve been down at American Top Team for about two years now and I’ve made some real positive changes in my game,” he said. “It’s helped me revamp my confidence in my game and I’m a new fighter now.
“Before I’d have one of my training partners and then have an easier guy for a round, but down here, every round is tough. I’m training with all kinds of black belts in my jiu-jitsu, and my striking coaches have made some changes that are going to make a big impact on my fighting style.”
Having won his XFC debut last December, Thomas returns to the company at XFC 21 on Friday in Nashville, Tenn., to take on Ultimate Fighter alum Corey Hill in a fight he’s not taking lightly.
“Even though he’s only 6-4, it doesn’t reflect him at all,” said Thomas of Hill. “He’s a much better fighter than that shows.
“He can definitely cause some problems for me. He’s got really boney knees and elbows and has a lot of length. He’s also got a really good D’Arce choke, so I’ve worked on defending that and getting inside and trying to nullify his reach advantage.”
While he does have to be mindful of what Hill brings to their fight, Thomas told MMAWeekly.com that his opponent might not be ready to sustain the kind of pace he intends to bring that night.
“I’m sure he’s training hard and is going to bring his A-game, but I’ve just got a relentless pace and fight from the opening bell,” said Thomas. “Usually I can make my opponents break, and if I don’t finish them, they’re going to break and I’ll have the mental edge on them.
“I’ve had 14 pro victories and four amateur victories and I’ve finished each of them. I just pour it on until they break.”
After righting himself this year, the goal for Thomas in 2013 is simply to keep moving forward.
“I don’t want to look past Corey Hill, and I don’t know where my future is going to go, but as long as I keep winning, I just know it’s going to be positive things for me,” said Thomas. “My future is going to just be getting brighter and brighter as long as I keep earning W’s in the win column.
“I’m tired of taking one step forward and then two steps back. I’ve just got to keep steamrolling ahead and not go backwards anymore.”