Tyrone’s own Christian DeHaas’s first amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight at the House of Blues, Showboat Casino, on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ was short-lived, but not discouraging for the hometown, up and coming brawler.
DeHaas, of Team Sniper, was defeated by Team Quiet Storm’s Dave Concepcion by submission (guillotine choke) at the 0:40 second mark of Round One in the cruiserweight division. The caged octagon bout was the nineteenth of 22 fights at the New Breed Fighters “March Mayhem” event last Saturday night.
Concepcion’s win over DeHaas vaulted the Team Quiet Storm fighter to the number one seed in New Breed’s upcoming Cruiserweight Tournament in Atlantic City on May 3.
New Breed Fighters is an amateur MMA circuit operated by its president and south Jersey business man, Scott Morgan. The March Mayhem event heralded some big name MMA fighting schools such as Renzo Gracie, Newark Team Quest, and Miletich.
DeHaas portrayed his experience in Atlantic City and the octagon as a “crazy time.” He said that when he got there, “all you could see was a bunch of fighters and their teams,” and that “the mood there between all the fighters was strangely calm, but intense.”
He arrived in Atlantic City at 1 p.m. on Saturday and spent the day at the casino with his fiancee Tiffany Nevling to pass the time. The fights were to begin at 8 p.m., but his fight didn’t begin until 11:40 p.m.
“I’m glad she (Tiffany) was there when my name was called to fight,” said DeHaas. “I walked out and saw all the people and how professional it looked, I felt a bit nervous and anxious.”
He added, “At the same time, I felt ready to go put on a good show.”
DeHaas found out before the fight that his opponent, Concepcion, was a “very tough guy.” Concepcion provides instruction and training at the Berks County full-service Mixed Martial Arts Academy and Training Center.
DeHaas said that he wanted to stick to his game plan, even though Concepcion was a skilled, talented, and experienced fighter.
“When the fight started I threw a hook kick to his ribs, but he picked the kick off like he knew it was coming,” stated DeHaas. “He charged me with many hard punches that connected a couple of times.”
Concepcion had DeHaas confused until the two fighters locked up. DeHaas had Concepcion’s back against the cage and hit his opponent with a knee that DeHaas thought might have stunned Concepcion.
“After that he got me caught in a choke hold and cut off my air, so I had to tap out,” a reluctant DeHaas said.
It was a tough going for DeHaas’s first cage bout in the New Breed Fighters organization, but it won’t be the last time he fights. DeHaas will be invited back to the circuit in June, and he plans on making the best of his time until then to better prepare for what’s to come.
“I want to train properly in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, and muay thai,” said DeHaas. “I hope to move up in the MMA rankings in the next two years, so my extra time will be devoted to training.”
DeHaas doesn’t have a lot of “extra” time, but manages to fit in hard training sessions in between working a full-time job and being a good father and soon to be husband.
But all in all, DeHaas remains focused on capturing a dream and working hard for it. He wants his four-year-old son Landen to be proud of what his father accomplishes in life.
DeHaas wanted to thank everyone who helped him before, during, and after his fight in Atlantic City, such as MMA fighter Mervin Rodriquez, who helped him practice before his bout. Rodriquez fights for Extreme MMA in the middleweight division. He also thanked Concepcion for the fight, and said “it was an honor to fight Dave and he deserves respect in the cage.”
“I will never forget the experience of New Breed Fighters in Atlantic City,” said DeHaas. “Everyone I met was out of their way nice to me, every fighter and every team – it was like a dream.”
DeHaas added that New Breed’s owner, Scott Morgan, provided him one of the best times of his life. He said Morgan is a very professional man that cares about his fighters, and he will be a “brother for life” for DeHaas.
“I want to give a special thanks to my father, Mike DeHaas, Terry and Rich Taylor for supporting me and watching me perform, but most of all my fiancee, Tiffany, for supporting me and keeping me calm the whole time,” ended DeHaas.