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UFC vet vs. ADCC champ verbally agreed for Submission Series Pro in July

Submission Series Pro books UFC vet Tom DeBlass and ADCC champ Joao Assis to compete in a submission only match in Toronto,Canada in July.

Submission Series Pro

With Abu Dhabi Combat Club's Submission World Championship right around the corner, the elites of grappling are planning the final legs of their preparation for the worlds most prestigious grappling contest. ADCC 2013 champion Joao Assis will be making a return to the mats as he has verbally agreed to face UFC veteran and former no-gi Pan American champion Tom DeBlass, at Submission Series Pro in Toronto, Canada in July.

Joao Assis, a black belt under Leonardo Vieira, exploded on to the grappling scene in 2010 when he submitted former UFC title contender, Jeff Monson, at the UFC fan expo grappling contest. Prior to his match with Assis, Monson hadn't been tapped in over 10 years. Joao Assis' biggest achievement in his grappling career so far came in 2013 in Beijing, China, where he defeated 4 of the grappling world's best athletes including Leo Nogueira and Dean Lister, to become the ADCC champion in the 99kg weight class.

MMA fans will remember Tom DeBlass best for his spells with the UFC and Bellator where he retired after winning two fights in a row by TKO. While DeBlass was successful in MMA, he found that by leaving the world of submission grappling he lost a major passion from his life.

"I own a Jiu-Jitsu Academy, Ocean County Jiu-Jitsu. It was no longer conducive for me to fight MMA. I can compete at the absolute highest level of Jiu-Jitsu while training and teaching. It just fits much better in my life and it's always been my biggest passion. I never fell out of love with it, I never loved MMA."

Since retiring from MMA, DeBlass has been extremely active in submission grappling tournaments, winning the ADCC North American trials and beating fellow former UFC vet Renato "Babalu" Sobral. DeBlass' newly released highlight reel chronicling his return to grappling can be seen here.

Submission Series Pro has emerged as a leading promotion in North American grappling, the Canadian outfit operates a submission only ruleset and has been active with recruiting MMA fighters to try their hands at elite-level grappling. Newly signed unbeaten UFC fighter Tom Breese is expected to compete at the show in July also.

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