MMA star Azi Thomas takes centre stage on documentary ahead of world title eliminator


Dean Jones

MIXED Martial Arts sensation Azi Thomas has featured in a special documentary ahead of his world title eliminator next month.
The Colwyn Bay fighter will take on Pierre Botha on the South African promotion EFC card, which will take place in Johannesburg on Saturday, May 13, and Thomas has been speaking about his life and hopes for future in a ‘Behind the Fighter’ series which was shown on Fight Life TV on Sky.
Thomas, said: “I have never been interested in boring fights, the people pay their money to be entertained and that is what I try and give them every time I fight.
“Moving to MMA was a real turning point in my life and I have never looked back. I am strong mentally and the adrenaline you get when you hear your music play before you make your entrance is the best feeling in the world.”
The former Commonwealth Games boxer, who owns Paradox Gym in the Bay, has seen both his ability and profile soar since he joined the HAMMA Training Centre in St Helens, who have described him as a “physical specimen” and “one of the hardest hitters” in his weight class.
There is plenty to look forward to in the near future for the 36-year-old, who further enhanced his growing reputation with a first round stoppage success over Eden Newton.
“I think my ground game now is as good as my stand-up, and people that keep understaimate just end up getting tapped out,” added Thomas.
“The opportunities are there for me if I come through the Botha fight, and I have got an altitude tent so I am now sleeping at 10,000 feet in preparation for the contest.
“I expect him (Botha) to be good on the ground but there are some definite holes in his game that I think I can take advantage of.”
Should he come away with the victory at the EFC showcase, then Thomas has set his sights on a world title and a shot at current featherweight king Paddy Pimblett.
He said: “He is allegedly the best and that’s where I want to be. I didn’t take up this game to end up second or third, I want to come up against the best fighters and if everyone thinks that’s Paddy then he is definitely a target.”
Coaches at the St Helens Gym have stated that should he win a world title then American juggernaut the Ultimate Fighting Championship, would be “the only place he could go” if he secures the strap.
You can view the documentary in full via Sky One Demand.

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