Highly accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Tom DeBlass has announced a return to mixed martial arts competition.
In a Facebook post, the 38-year-old notified fans of his decision to return to the cage, and why inking a multi-fight deal with ONE Championship was the favorable option.
“I’d like to announce my commitment to ONE Championship,” DeBlass stated.
“Life sometimes has twists and turns we don’t expect. This pandemic brought all of us to places we never expect to be. Yet this pandemic also forced ourself to look long and hard in the mirror at who we are. I remember the first time I went to corner Garry Lee Tonon, the owner of ONE, Chatri Sityodtong, approached me like he knew me for years. I was so impressed with him, his staff and the fans. I watched the event, the fighters, the respect and immediately loved MMA again. I loved the code of the samurai, and no organization emulates this code like ONE.”
“I am not claiming to come back and knock anyone out, or even win. I simply want to inspire everyone and remind everyone that this life is a fight, everyday we must fight for what we want, and it’s never easy. I promise you that I will give my best, always and forever. At 38, I can ride into the sunset with never testing myself again. Yet, this opportunity is simply a God send, and it’s my duty to accept. Now its time ti get back into fight shape. Thank you for the support and thank you for the opportunity, Chatri.”
After amassing a professional record of 9-2, DeBlass retired from MMA in 2013 as he wanted to solely focus on his jiu-jitsu while committing more time to coach up and coming athletes such as the aforementioned Garry Tonon.
A veteran of both the UFC and Bellator, the Ricardo Almeida black belt last competed at light heavyweight. Chatri Sityodtong later revealed that DeBlass would likely compete at heavyweight or light heavyweight.