New Jersey-based fighter steps in for injured Jorgen Kruth
An injury has knocked Jorgen Kruth out of his UFC debut in his home country of Sweden, and another promotional newcomer has stepped in as his replacement.
The highly touted and unbeaten Tom DeBlass now will meet Cyrille Diabate at UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva next week in Stockholm. Though UFC officials have not yet announced the new bout, DeBlass said on his Twitter feed that he has signed a four-fight deal with the promotion.
UFC on Fuel TV 2 takes place April 14 at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm and features a main event light heavyweight bout between Sweden native son Alexander Gustafsson and Thiago Silva, who replaced an injured Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The co-main event is a middleweight bout between Brian Stann and Alessio Sakara. The event's six-fight main card airs live on the Fuel TV cable network at 3 p.m. Eastern due to the time difference between the United States and Sweden. Fights on the preliminary card are expected to be part of a live stream at the UFC's Facebook fan page.
DeBlass (7-0) takes the short-notice fight as the Ring Of Combat light heavyweight and heavyweight champion. The New Jersey-based fighter has fought exclusively in that promotion, beating the likes of UFC veteran Sean Salmon along the way. His seven wins in less than two years as a pro include a pair of knockouts and a pair of submissions. DeBlass owns Ocean County Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where he coaches and trains under Ricardo Almeida. The BJJ black belt got an opponent switch in his last event at ROC 39 and moved up to heavyweight – winning that title to go with his 205-pound belt, taking care of Randy Smith in just 41 seconds with a heel hook.
Diabate (17-8-1, 2-2 UFC) looks to get back in the win column after a submission loss to Anthony Perosh at UFC 138 in November. The French striker has had an up-and-down run in the UFC since debuting with an upset first-round knockout win over Luiz Cane at UFC 114 in May 2010. He was submitted by Gustafsson at UFC 120, then beat Steve Cantwell last March.