Azi Thomas fights through serious injury to claim draw in world title eliminator


Dean Jones

MIXED Martial Arts sensation Azi Thomas overcame a serious injury to gain a draw in his world title eliminator.
The Colwyn Bay slugger tore his LCL just days before his EFC bout with Pierre Botha, but the 37-year-old showed plenty of grit to emerge from the contest with a share of the spoils.
There were also calls for Thomas to be awarded the bout via disqualification after a brutal illegal knee by Botha, who has represented the South African wrestling squad at the Commonwealth Games.
Thomas, who owns Paradox Gym situated on Abergele Road, said: “I never pull out of fights once the contract is signed. I've said before you can't turn up to a battlefield and say excuse me can you not shoot me I've got a sore knee or thumb.
“I tore my LCL on May 1 and couldn't walk for four days, and the doctor advised me not to go back to competition training for six weeks never mind fight. But after 16 days I jumped in and had a go.
“This isn't an excuse it is what it is and I wasn't at my best. I could have taken the DQ win I was dazed and my neck seized up but I am not a fan of taking wins in that way.
“Botha played the survival game and it is never pretty to watch or a fight I like to be involved in so frustrating not just as a fighter but as a fan of the sport. When I was on top I was looking to do damage when he was on top I feel he was just playing the active roll to keep position.
“I was looking to finish from the start to finish the best I could but I wasn't at my best."
Plans are now being formed for a rematch between the two once Thomas has recovered from his injury, with a date set to be announced later this year.

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