In the wake of one of the most devastating tragedies in United States history, millions across the globe have come together to grieve with the victims and families who lost loved ones in the school shooting that took place in Newtown, Conn. High-profile athletes such as New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant have been showing their support for those who lost their lives on Dec. 14.

UFC veteran Tom DeBlass is another athlete that has shared sentimental words with those who lived through the horrific event which occurred just one week ago.

“I’d say my heart is broken,” DeBlass admitted in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Sometimes I’m completely disgusted in the world we live in.

“I know I could say things to try and soothe the minds of the families in Connecticut, but 10,000 words would not make things better. If I could give my own life to make things better, I would.”

DeBlass, who recently announced his retirement from the UFC, will spend the next few months focusing on the next step in his career. With everything that’s occurred over the past week, he realizes it’s the small things in life that mean the most. It’s spending time with family and impacting the lives of others that will leave the biggest impression in the end.

“When you’re traveling across the world, life gets busy. I am definitely able to take a step back and spend more time with my family now,” said DeBlass. “I’m also able to turn my focus towards teaching and producing some world-class students on and off the mats at Ocean County Jiu-Jitsu.

“I am actually still training my butt off and that’s been the hardest part of retirement. I’m without anything to look forward to. I have plans of possibly returning to grappling, where I could potentially become a two-time North American ADCC champion and two-time Abu Dhabi veteran. Time will tell what the next step is going to be.”

Regardless of what comes next, DeBlass realizes everything he’s been given is a gift from God. A gift that could be gone in the blink of an eye. So, whether DeBlass continues to impact young lives in the gym or makes a return to the Octagon later down the road, he realizes nothing is ever guaranteed.

“With everything that’s occurred with the children and families in Connecticut, it’s made me realize even more so, everyday could be our last,” said DeBlass.

“It’s time we love and treat others the right way.”

Photo: Tom DeBlass (Anton Tabuena/MMA Fighting)

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