After defending his title with at UFC 228, Tyron Woodley was surprised by his coach Din Thomas by promoting him to black belt immediately after his submission win. Choking out Darren Till was Woodley’s first submission victory in the UFC, so did he really plan to promote the UFC champ that night?
Thomas took to social media to state that he was indeed expecting a submission win and a subsequent belt promotion.
As for what the submission he had in mind, Thomas is keeping those cards close to his chest for now.
Woodley said Din has been with him through thick and thin, from back when he felt he knew nothing about MMA yet. After winning his fifth UFC title bout, the added belt promotion from his coach and close friend made the whole experience so much better for him.
“To get a black belt from Din, after everything we’ve been through. It meant a lot to me,” Woodley said about the promotion. “I just remember walking out to the cage, and I gave him a hug. I was like ‘man, we’re doing it. We’ve been at this for a long time.’ I remember my eyes kind of getting a little watery, because this dude has been with me for a long long time. So when he put the black belt on me, it definitely, emotionally, made it a little more rewarding.
“I was going to win that anyway,” he said of the UFC belt. “This (black belt) was a surprise.”