2008 could have been a banner year for MMA veteran Thomas Denny. After bouncing around different local promotions for most of his career, he signed a contract with EliteXC, and much to many pundits surprise, was booked against Nick Diaz
in a high-profile fight in Diaz's hometown of Stockton, Calif., on the second EliteXC on CBS telecast in July.
Despite losing to Diaz via second-round TKO, Denny showed a ton of heart, and appeared to have found a home with the upstart promotion. But it was not to be, as EliteXC folded three months later, and "The Wildman" was once again a free agent.
He landed another big fight against returning legend, Pat Miletich
, in December, but Denny would end up getting knocked out in the second round. He recently told FanHouse that the knockout could not have come at a worse time in his life.
"I actually left my wife and moved to the gym one week before the Miletich fight after 13 years of marriage," Denny said via e-mail.
"[I] have had a bad last couple years. I was pretending my life was okay, and it really wasn't fair to my fans or the people in the MMA community. I was fighting just to fight, hence the 1-3-0 record in 2008."
After taking the first part of 2009 off, Denny (26-18) looks to get back on the winning track when he faces former UFC fighter, Brandon Wolff
, on August 15 at a local show in Ontario, Calif. Wolff (7-4) last fought at UFC 98 in May, losing via guillotine submission to Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Denny said that a win over a notable name in the welterweight division could help ease the pain from a difficult past year.
"I have maybe a handful of fights left in me. So, I just want to go out there and give the fans what they pay to see.
" ... I am refocused and ready to bring the old 'Wildman'
The old 'Wildman' has fought the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Joe Stevenson and Yves Edwards, but before he hangs up his gloves for good, Denny is hoping to avenge the most notable loss on his 44-fight resume.
"I really would like that rematch with Diaz someday," he said.