East Texan Top Star In The World Combat League - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/15/07-Tyler

East Texan Top Star In The World Combat League

The sport of mixed martial arts is surging in popularity. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is all over the sports networks and magazine covers. 

But there is another, similar league founded by martial arts star and actor Chuck Norris. It is called the World Combat League and East Texas is home to one of the world's best in that league. His name is Thomas Longacre a.k.a. Thunderkick.

"We're not guys trying to tear everybody's head's off," Thomas explained.

It is not as simple as what you see is what you get with mixed martial arts and the World Combat League. Fans and critics may see just a hardcore fight. But Thomas knows better.

"Everybody's got a little bit of a background in traditional martial arts," Thomas explained. "The respect, the self control. You've been raised and trained with since a little age."

A member of the World Combat League for seven years, Thomas is not only a top draw, he's a former Extreme Kickboxing world champion.

"I've fought people from all around the United States," he said, "and I've actually gone overseas to Germany and fought for another world title."

Thomas lives in Tyler but is a member of the Oklahoma Destroyers, one of the teams in the WCL. It was his charisma and dramatic moves that attracted the attention of league founder Chuck Norris.

"I've met him several times," Thomas said. "As nice as he is on TV he is in person."

The WCL is regulated for fighters safety and varies from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

"Chuck Norris had the vision of bringing back the old school of kickboxing," Thomas explained. "Not only the team concept but the ring is different. The are no ropes, no cages. Fighters have to stay in the middle. The WCL is all strictly stand up fighting only. In the UFC they do stand up and they ground work also. We take the exciting part of the UFC and make it into the WCL."

Thomas enlisted Chris Hobbs a former athletic trainer as a fighter. Chris won his first two amateur fights.

"It's about 75 mental and 25 percent physical," Chris said of the fighting. "It's intense."

When the WCL season begins in August you can see Thomas as he battles for another title on the cable channel "Versus".

For more information on Thomas or the World Combat League you can visit his website http://www.thunderstorm2007.com

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