Tom DeBlass snatches a leg - Photo via Sherdog.com
With Swedish kickboxing legend Jorgen Kruth bowing out of his UFC debut due to an injury, the UFC has once again been forced to find a replacement opponent for Cyrille Diabate on just over a week's notice, and now they have one in talented, New Jersey-based grappler, Tom DeBlass, who will fight Diabate in just over a week at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Stockholm. MMANytt.se first reported the change and DeBlass later confirmed it on his Twitter account:
A last minute change has occurred on the card for UFC: Sweden. The Swedish kickboxing legend Jorgen Kruth that would make his UFC debut at the event has withdrawn from the match because of a broken rib, said a source at the UFC to MMAnytt. Replacing Kruth will be Tom DeBlass who now will be entering on short notice to meet Cyrille Diabate in a match on the card.
DeBlass is well known in the grappling world and on the New Jersey regional MMA circuit, holding a black belt in BJJ under Ricardo Almeida, and captaining Almeida's competitive grappling team. BloodyElbow.com readers may be familiar with DeBlass after he was ranked as the #3 light heavyweight on our 2012 World MMA Scouting Report. DeBlass's excellent grappling credentials include a gold medal at the 2009 East Coast ADCC North American Trials, and a bronze at the 2009 no-gi BJJ Worlds. In the MMA world, DeBlass has gone undefeated in seven fights, all for the Ring of Combat promotion in New Jersey, and he has added a solid striking game to his top-notch BJJ and wrestling, and even on very short notice, he should present a tough challenge for Diabate, who had been training for a fellow kickboxer, not a grappling specialist.
Tom DeBlass (7-0)
W Randy Smith (submission - heel hook) - ROC 39
W David Tkeshelashvili (unam. decision) - ROC 38
W Mike Stewart (TKO) - ROC 37