Nov. 26, 2021 – He was too young at the time to truly understand that this was the result of alcohol addiction, but his family tried to explain it to him anyway, referring to those nights he would arrive home looking disheveled as “slip ups.” On those occasions, DeBlass — a former MMA fighter who competed in UFC and Bellator — knew something wasn’t right.

“His hair would get flat when he was drunk,” DeBlass recalls to CNN Sport. “Usually, he would brush it back, [but] anytime he was drunk it would be flat and to the side. Right away, I knew today is not going to be a good day. 

 In his new autobiography, “How You Bear It: Triumph and Resilience in Life,” DeBlass describes sport during his youth as “a desperate escape” and despite eventually excelling in martial arts, initially found that release through soccer.

“Some days, he would be really, really awesome and just super sweet and kind, and some days, he just was not very kind. His voice would raise, and he wasn’t affectionate and then I realized there was something … not smooth.  

DeBlass would fill his father in on moments from his childhood that he was either absent for or had forgotten due to the effects of the alcohol and drugs.

But there was one moment that he could never bring himself to tell his father about. When he was seven years old, DeBlass says he was molested by an older child.

“I never resented the person,” he tells CNN. “I don’t know why, because I’m assuming that they were also in a terrible spot in their life and had witnessed some things.

“I always try to look deep within myself and say: ‘Why are you the way you are? What is okay and what is not okay?’ And I think I just started to understand that some of my flaws were because of that, and I never asked for that. That just happened to me.

“People say everything happens for a reason, I think that’s not true. I think that’s bulls**t. Not everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, terrible things just happen to good people, you know?”


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