A few questions with Tom DeBlass

By | March 28, 2014 at 1:11 am | No comments | Fighter Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jersey's own Tom DeBlass; UFC Vet, Bellator fighter, and OCBJJ Gym Owner, is quite an inspiration to many up and coming fighters and Jiu Jitsu practitioners. I've had the pleasure of chatting with DeBlass on several occasions and was pretty excited when he accepted my request to ask a few questions. Check them out below!

Early Life Journey:


Jason Przewoznik: How was your childhood in the DeBlass family? Where did you grow up and how was the environment?

Tom DeBlass: I grew up as an only child. My parents always had me involved in sports from the time I can remember. I was the youngest one in my neighborhood and the boys never took it easy on me. I learned a lot at a young age. I grew up pretty fast, but always had great support from my mother and father whom I owe so much to. Love them.


JP: What sports were you involved in, in your school-years that may have impacted your current standing?

Tom DeBlass: I played all sports and was a very competitive track athlete in high school. I long jumped over 22 feet and high jumped 6'4. I was much smaller, haha.


JP: What led you into brazilian Jiu Jitsu or MMA in general (If one before the other, etc). How long have you been practicing BJJ and how long have you been involved in MMA?

Tom DeBlass: I always liked watching fights on TV. I didn't know much about Jiu Jitsu until I started it. I fell in love instantly. I been training for close to 13 years.


Jiu Jitsu:


JP: When was your first grappling match? How long have you trained before competing? What was that experience like?

Tom DeBlass: First grappling match I won a grapplers quest white belt division. I was only training 2 months.


JP: You run OCBJJ as a true instructor should; you share your experiences with your students, you find time to roll with the white belts, and you even bring positivity to social media … What would you say, in your life, that has inspired you to be such an outstanding person, instructor, and competitor?

Tom DeBlass: I just love helping people. Nothing comes easy in life for me and I want people to understand they see also capable of great things. Who would have thought a Bayville boy would be a Jiu-Jitsu world and pan American champion?  But I did it. Everyone is capable of great things.


JP: In the BJJ world, if you could offer one bit of advice (this can pertain to life in general or grappling), what would it be?

Tom DeBlass: Never be too hard on yourself and leave the ego at the door. Have fun!


JP: You've recently competed in a grappling match against a giant Mark Tarmann (who has size and over 100lbs on you) and scored a decision victory… Mark is huge, fast, and technical – what went through your mind during that competition? Can you describe the feeling you had when your hand was raised?


Tom DeBlass: I hated the match!  I popped my rib the first round going for a kimura. I couldn't breath! (lol). I was thinking how terrible it was but I would die before I rolled over and quit.


JP: What are your goals for the future regarding BJJ and your school?

Tom DeBlass: To keep getting better in every aspect as a competitor and school owner.


JP: How has BJJ and OCBJJ effected your life as a person? Do you have any stories or anything personal you'd like to share?

Tom DeBlass: OCBJJ is my life. We recently expanded again. I'm so thankful I created an environment so many people love.




JP: How long have you been training in MMA in it's entirety as a sport?

Tom DeBlass: 5 years


JP: You've been to the big shows, although suffering losses in the UFC, you've exploded in Bellator and still have some time left on your contract … Do you have anything you'd like to share about making it to the big shows and how it's impacted your life?

Tom DeBlass: Um, not really man. I always expected to fight on big stages from day 1 of starting MMA. I've accomplished so much in jiu-jitsu I knew I would do well in MMA. It's just time consuming.


JP: How has being involved in MMA impacted your life?

Tom DeBlass: Just while training for fights, I don't have time for much else.


JP: We see how genuine of a person you are throughout daily activities, but even when you TKO an opponent – we've all seen you rush over to him and make sure he is OK; this separates the 'sportsmen' from the 'savages' inside the cage, and you are a true inspiration to many …What runs through your mind when the cage is locked … and when the fight is over?

Tom DeBlass: Honest?  I want to smash through my opponent. I know I am a gentleman and sportsman and checked on Jason right away,  however,  I want to win. I want to crush whoever is in front of me. Not out of anger, but because I am a fierce competitor.


JP: I see time and time again that you do not enjoy 'FIGHTING' as most blood-thirsty fans like to see; it is one of your career paths, but do you see yourself continuing once your contract is up at Bellator? What are your goals/aspirations at this point regarding MMA and performing for the fans?

Tom DeBlass: I see myself fighting longer, yes. Simply because the main fighters in LHW in Bellator should get beat up. Haha


Fun Facts:

Let's have some fun…


JP: What are your favorite food dishes?

Tom DeBlass: Everything! Especially pizza!


JP: What is your favorite TV show?

Tom DeBlass: Hmm, Sons of Anarchy.


JP: What type of music do you enjoy? Does this change at all when training/preparing for competition?

Tom DeBlass: I love all music, but I like slow music when training. My training partners hate it. Lady in red is a favorite. Hahaha


JP: What's your favorite color?

Tom DeBlass: Blue


JP: In your off time (do you even have that?!) …What other hobbies / interests do you have.

Tom DeBlass: I love movies


JP: What would you say is the happiest day(s) if your life?

Tom DeBlass: When I became a Dad to Isabelle


JP: As a father and a gym owner who considers his students a part of his family …what would you say to aspiring fighters and BJJ competitioners of the younger age groups?

Tom DeBlass: Have patience my friends. Give yourself time.


JP: Do you have anything you'd like to share with the fans? Any thank you's or even a shoutout to anyone?

Tom DeBlass: Love you guys and thank you all for the support. 



Jason Przewoznik is the owner of KnockoutLounge.com. KnockoutLounge.com was created to provide a haven for up and coming Mixed Martial Artists to share their stories and their careers with the fans; Supporting ALL fighters on the rise in a not-for-profit community.
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