WSOF’s Tyrone Spong Stands for “a Hard and Exciting Fight”
Kickboxing Star “Ready” to Battle DeAnda Saturday
By Kelsey Mowatt
World Series of Fighting made an interesting choice when it decided to feature Tyrone Spong in the promotion’s next headliner, as the “King of the Ring” is far from a household name in North American circles. To date, the WSOF has promoted events headlined by established UFC vets like Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson and most recently Jon Fitch. As a result, some fans and pundits were likely surprised when the promotion announced that Spong would battle Angel DeAnda in this Saturday’s main event.
While casual MMA fans here in the United States and Canada may only be catching up on who Spong is, kickboxing fans know that the 27 year-old is one of combat sport’s elite strikers. In addition, Spong continues to round out his MMA game with the renowned Blackzilians team in Boca Raton, Florida, and is off to a 1-0 start. As a result, the WSOF is keenly aware that Spong could be headed to great things in MMA, and wants to make sure the Dutch fighter is promoted accordingly.
“I’m training with some of the best MMA fighters in the world. I’m very satisfied with my camp,” said Spong during a recent media call to promote his August 10th bout with DeAnda, which will take place in Ontario, California. “I know it’s a quick turnaround, but it just shows that I’m in great shape and that I don’t need to take too much time off. I’m just ready and I just want to give the fans what they want.
Spong is referring to the fact that he competed in GLORY’s June 22nd, light-heavyweight tournament, which took place in New York City. The fighter won three bouts that night to take the tournament, and extended his kickboxing record to an impressive 72-6-1. Spong’s kickboxing career is another reason why the light-heavyweight is such an intriguing figure, as for now, he plans to compete in both sports.
“I will probably have another kickboxing bout scheduled. I’m not sure,” said Spong, who made his MMA debut at WSOF 1 last November and knocked out Travis Bartlett in the first round. “As long as it goes good, why stop? It seems to work for me and I’ve been able to adjust. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
One would think that if Spong’s MMA career goes according to plan, then the day will come where it will be in his best interests to focus on just MMA. That said, GLORY continues to expand its reach and is making inroads into mainstream sporting culture. Case in point, recently the kickboxing promotion signed a multi-year, broadcast deal with SPIKE.
Of course, before Spong is faced with any decision regarding what his vocational focus should be, the fighter will have to score more wins with WSOF. In DeAnda, Spong will take on a fighter who has scored three straight wins and has put together a 11-2 record. Most recently, DeAnda stopped Strikeforce vet Anthony Ruiz at a Tachi Palace Fights event in November, 2012.
“I thank Angel DeAnda for accepting this fight,” said Spong. “He seems like the type of guy who really likes to bring it and who gives the fans what they expect: a hard and exciting fight. Everyone who knows me understands that that’s one of the things that I stand for.”
WSOF 4 will be hosted by Ontario’s Citizen’s Bank Arena and will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network.