by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Among the local talent at this weekend’s ACF show that could have a big impact on the company’s future is Noah “The Red” Thomas. Currently one of the promotion’s top 155-pound fighters, Thomas is looking to make his mark this weekend and work his way towards an ACF title shot.
“It’s been going okay,” said Noah of his year so far. “I got off to a rocky start. I lost one, won one, and lost my last one. I was supposed to fight Josh Thomson, but he got hurt so I didn’t fight him. I fought a lesser opponent and just wasn’t into it and lost. I feel good now, and I think I’m going to come back, win this fight, and get back into it.”
After fighting in Trevor Prangley’s Pride & Fury show in Idaho, Thomas will return to his native Colorado this weekend to take on the always tough Cruz Chacon in the ACF.
“I love fighting in Colorado,” said Noah enthusiastically. “I have so many fans here, so it’s great. I’ve got a lot of friends that come down to support me, so it’s good. I like fighting for the ACF. Tthey treat you professionally, which is a breath of fresh air, and I’m looking forward to fighting there again.”
When it comes to his opponent this weekend, Thomas is very familiar with Chacon and knows that his veteran status will make him a tough opponent.
“Yeah, I know him. He’s a strong stand-up guy with good Jiu-Jitsu,” said Noah of Chacon. “He has fought some top-level guys like Joe Stevenson and Diego Sanchez. He lost to Diego, but he should have won that fight. He has fought some tough guys, so it should be interesting.”
Thomas continued, “My gameplan is just the same as it is usually. I train pretty much the same way [for every fight]. I’ve done a lot of stand-up work for this one. I know he’s a good striker, so I’ve done a lot of counter work to keep him from knocking my block off, but otherwise not much has changed. It will be just like every other time. I’ll just go in there and do what I do.”
After spending much of his early career as an independent fighter, Noah has begun to expand his training regimen with the help of an up-and-coming team in Colorado and an established powerhouse in Oregon.
“I’m working with the Fort Collins Fight Factory. They’ve got some really great strikers, ground guys, and Greco guys,” commented Thomas. “I’m working with four-time Greco-Roman Champion, Coach Gaulier… and some of the better strikers in the room like Eric Clausen, Reto Malley, and Russ Felton, so all in all it’s helping me a lot. I’ve also been working my Jiu-Jitsu game with Adam Martinez of Loveland Martial Arts.”
Noah added, “Of course, I go out to Team Quest and work with those guys. Matt Lindland and Ryan Schultz have been great, and Ian Loveland is coming down to corner me this time. I’ve definitely come up a level for this fight. I’m working hard for this one.”
If all should go well for Thomas at the ACF this weekend, he hopes to use the rest of this year to take a step up in competition and fight for titles.
“I want to get some good, hard fights,” exclaimed Noah. “I’m finally starting to get approached to fight good competition, and hopefully I can get some good wins under my belt and become a contender for a belt. When the ACF has a 155-pound belt, I hope to become a contender for that.”
Thomas further commented, “Josh Thomson was supposed to be that first step. That didn’t happen, but I was assured I’d get my crack at him at a later time. I want to fight Urijah Faber and I’ve called King of the Cage a couple times to try to set that fight up. I’m not only a 155er, but I can go down to 145 if anyone wants me to. I’d really, really like to fight Urijah Faber or some bigger names.”
Thomas wanted to make sure to thank those who have helped him, and he also wanted to send a message to the fans attending the ACF show this weekend.
“I’d like to thank Tapout, Inta Juice, and FightShop.tv for sponsoring me… Eric Clausen, Reto Malley, Russ Felton, and all the guys at Fort Collins Fight Factory… Matt Lindland, Ryan Schultz, and Ian Loveland at Quest. For the fans, come out to the show. It’s going to be fireworks. We’re going to get at it, guaranteed.”