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Tyrone man to fight in amateur MMA event at the House of Blues in Atlantic City on March 29

Christian DeHaas, a 1994 graduate of Tyrone Area High School, has earned the right to take the octagon in one of 23 fights at New Breed Fighters “March Mayhem” event at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 29 at 8 p.m.
The event is part of the Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Fight League, presented by House of Blues and 100.7 WZXL South Jersey’s Rock Station.
DeHaas, fighting for Team Sniper, will fight in a cruiserweight (183-189.9 lbs.) bout against Philadelphia fighter, Dave Concepcion, of Team Quiet Storm. Concepcion is a well-rounded fighter in jiu-jitsu, muay thai and boxing.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport in which a wide variety of fighting techniques are used, including striking and grappling. The striking consists largely of martial arts degrees of karate, taekwondo, boxing, muay thai and wing chun. The grappling consists of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo and wrestling.
The modern MMA tournaments, like the one DeHaas will battle in, began in 1993 with the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), based on the concept of pitting different fighting styles against each other in competition with minimal rules in place, to see which style would be more effective in combat.
DeHaas is trained by John Burns at the Northern Blair Recreation Center in Tipton, who heads John Burns Jeet Kune Doo. Jeet kune doo takes the best of every mixed martial arts style and focuses training in it, which allows a fighter to learn a little bit of everything involved in MMA.
DeHaas was a basketball standout in his days at TAHS, but he was equally known for his bad-boy image, which definitely carries over into the tough and relentless MMA sport.
While juggling a full-time job at ORX in Tipton and raising his four-year-old son, Landon, alongside his fiancee Tiffany Nevling, DeHaas has found the time to train for his fights without leaving his family and work to the way-side.
“Preparing is definitely tough,” said DeHaas. “I’m fighting twenty pounds lower than my regular weight, so I’m constantly watching what I eat. I have to be consistent with my training, because I know the other guy is.”
He added, “I’m not fighting to be a tough guy. I want my son (Landon) to know me for something good. Every decision I make is for him.”
DeHaas’s life has been challenging at times and he hasn’t always made the right decisions, but facing his own past demons has encouraged and strengthened him in his quest to move up in the ranks of MMA. He said his past has prepared him for the future, and he learned how good life is when having peace of mind and living a positive lifestyle.
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do,” said DeHaas. “The life that I lived in the past was much more harder than a fight in a cage for four minutes. I know whatever obstacles I face in the future, I can overcome them.”
DeHaas said that it feels good to be welcomed in an organization like New Breed Fighters, which is headed by Scott Morgan. He said his upcoming bout with Concepcion will be a “good test” for his first fight in New Breed.
“I’m definitely nervous, but not scared, and I’m taking it one step at a time,” said DeHaas. “I’m overwhelmed and it’s all kind of surreal to me, but it’s definitely a great opportunity.”
He added, “My past prepared me for my future. I’m trying to set an example and a positive image for my son.”
DeHaas’s bout against Concepcion will be live on streaming video at New Breed’s web site (www.newbreedfighters.tv) on Saturday, March 29, beginning at 8 p.m. His bout is listed on the fight card as the 20th bout, right before the three final title fights.
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or House of Blues at (609) 343-5700. Price ranges from $35 to $125.