When Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast last week, New Jersey’s Tom DeBlass (7-2) needed an extra push from his family to help leave the country and take the fight at the UFC’s debut in China. Early numbers show that the storm will cost everyone affected over $50 billion.
“I didn’t feel right leaving, seeing everybody else during this terrible time,” said DeBlass to Bleacher Report. “I know in the end, me actually going to fight, if anything, lifts their morale and worst fears. They will get something to look forward to for a little bit as they go through this crazy time.”
DeBlass, a resident of Forked River, decided to not pull himself from the fight a week out. He ended up losing to Riki Fukuda (19-6) via decision.
It was DeBlass’ second UFC appearance and his second overall loss. He is now 0-2 for the UFC, with both losses coming via decision from this year alone. The recent loss also marked DeBlass’ middleweight debut.
Despite losing at UFC on Fuel TV 6, DeBlass knows he fared better than those residents around him and is thankful for that. He credited his family for still allowing him to take the fight, despite the setbacks from Mother Nature.
“I was actually thinking, ‘I’m not going to be able to go because it’s not safe,” said DeBlass. “My parents, though, really stepped up and said they would stay at our house and help out. I’m sure we would have made it work. They all wanted me to go. I trained super hard for this fight, and it was an emotional time.”