BJJ legend Tom DeBlass signs with ONE Championship


ONE Championship has officially announced the signing of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu icon Tom DeBlass (pix).

DeBlass put pen to paper on a deal that will see him return to competition for the first time since November 2013.

The multiple-time BJJ World Champion announced the news on his Facebook page on Monday, 18 May.

“I’d like to announce my official commitment to ONE Championship. Life sometimes has twists and turns we don’t expect. This pandemic brought all of us to places we never expected to be,” the post read.

“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 I immediately loved MMA again, I loved the code of the Samurai, and no organization emulates this code like One.

“I’m 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, every day 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 Godsend, and it’s my duty to accept. Now it’s time to get back into fight shape. Thank you for the support and thank you for the opportunity, Chatri.”

The New Jersey resident is a lifelong martial artist, having picked up taekwondo at the tender age of five. However, during his teenage years, he put a hold on martial arts and began focusing on track and field. That changed when he sustained an injury at the age of 18.

A year later, the warrior discovered BJJ and began working under the guidance of Eric Colon. Later, he honed his craft at Ricardo Almeida’s BJJ gym, earning a black belt in six and a half years.

This desire to succeed makes him a perfect fit for The Home Of Martial Arts. ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong shares the same belief.

“Please join me in welcoming legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu trailblazer Tom DeBlass (9-2) to ONE Championship! A true champion with Viking warrior blood, he will be competing in mixed martial arts in the heavyweight division, and possibly the light heavyweight division too,” Sityodtong said.

“With his athleticism and finishing abilities, Tom has the potential to take both divisions by storm, and make a World Title run. Of course, he will have to conquer some monumental challenges in order to do so. He has told me that the world will see the very best version of Tom DeBlass in history.”

A date for DeBlass’ ONE debut has not yet been confirmed, but all the top talents in the heavyweight and light heavyweight division will be more than happy to welcome yet another world-class addition to their ranks.

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