Andreas Spang Says He’s Gone “From Being a Nobody to Somebody” After KO’ing Brian Rogers
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Andreas Spang may still be a few wins away from becoming a household name in MMA, the middleweight certainly made the most of his short notice addition to Bellator 66 last Friday, by knocking out Brian Rogers in dramatic fashion. In what likely provided most fans as their introduction to Spang, the Swedish fighter floored the favored Rogers with a second round, left hook to advance to Bellator’s middleweight tourney finals.
“Oh for sure; it was very exciting,” Spang told FCF when asked if win is the biggest of his career to date. “I’m very happy with the win and I’m very happy to be in the finals and fight for Bellator. I’m really grateful for the opportunity I got. It’s definitely my biggest fight yet.”
Although Spang has competed for organizations like Strikeforce and the Maximum Fighting Championship since he turned pro in 2008, the coverage this victory has received is something new for the middleweight.
“I’ve been doing interviews the whole day the last couple of days ,” Spang said, while discussing the media requests he’s received as a result of the win. “It’s overwhelming almost. From being a nobody to somebody is exciting.”
“It feels like all the years in the gym, getting beat up and training hard and sacrificing time from my family and friends, it’s finally worth it,” the 33 year-old Spang added. “I’m finally getting some credit for all the hard work I’ve been doing.”
Of course, another reason Spang has been in the headlines is due to the scuffles he was involved in before and after Bellator 66. After weighing in on Thursday, Spang angrily pushed Rogers away as the fighters faced off for photographers.
Then, after the middleweight stopped Rogers Friday night, an in cage brawl nearly took place after Spang did the same thing to his next opponent Maiquel Falcao. The latter act resulted in a fine from the Ohio State Athletic Commission, which cost Spang 20 percent of his reported 30 thousand dollar purse.
“The first time I felt bullied, and the second time I wasn’t really sure with what was going on,” Spang said. “I didn’t mean any of those times to be a big deal. After the fight I went into Brian Rogers’ locker room to apologize, talk and I wished him luck in the future.”
“Things happen sometimes and unfortunately things get out of hand,” Spang furthered. “I didn’t mean to have things blow up the way they did.”
As a result of his KO win, and an injury to Bruno Santos who Spang replaced versus Rogers, the middleweight will take on Falcao in the tournament finals.
Falcao worked his way to a unanimous decision victory over Vyacheslav Vasilevsky in the night’s other semifinal, and in doing so, became the first man in 15 fights to defeat the Russian fighter.
“I’ve seen his name a lot and I know he’s had quite a few fights,” Spang said about Falcao (30-4), who earned a UD win over Norman Paraisy in the quarterfinals last month. “I’m not too familiar with him but my coaches are the ones who look up the fighters more. I concentrate on what I do best and that’s to be a better fighter than I was the last time I fought.”
Spang will continue to prepare for the fight out of his new home in Las Vegas, where he trains under the watchful eye of renowned instructors like Nick Blomgren and Sergio Penha.
“I left Sweden to come here and turn pro, but if things were the way they are now, I’m not sure if I would have left,” said Spang, while discussing the growth of MMA in his home country. “I love Las Vegas though, it’s like my second home. Vegas is where I’m staying for the near future.”