Tyrone Spong makes his MMA debut this weekend for World Series of Fighting. Hear why he made the switch to MMA, and his thoughts on kickboxing's lack of popularity in the US.
Kickboxing fans have long known the name Tyrone Spong. The Muay Thai fighter has made a major name for himself in the past decade in the European kickboxing scene, most recently as a Heavyweight for both K-1 and It's Showtime. UFC fans may not be as familiar with the name, though they're likely to recognize the face thanks to Spong's recent work with the Blackzilians camp at Imperial Athletics, where he has worked closely with Rashad Evans, cornering Rashad for his recent fights.
Now, the man known as "The King of the Ring" is getting ready to make his much anticipated MMA debut, as he faces Travis Bartlett at the World Series of Fighting debut show November 3. Last week, Spong's fight was officially added to the televised card set to air on NBC Sports Network.
In anticipation of the big MMA debut, Spong spoke to MMA Fighting to share his thoughts on the transition to MMA. It's a great, honest read, with Spong addressing how he came to WSOF, his plans to compete in both MMA and kickboxing, and why he wanted to try MMA:
For a long period I wasn't really that motivated with kickboxing... K-1 was going bad. I had accomplished so much in kickboxing... but just lost the motivation a little bit.
But then I came here (U.S.) and helped Rashad Evans for his camp and started training in other stuff like wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Just going to the gym every day I got my motivation back, and I said I'd give it a try.
He also has some great comments on his confusion over why kickboxing isn't big in the US, saying simply "it's stupid, I really don't understand." You and me both.
In other Spong news, he is releasing a video documentary made by the same team behind the superbThe Reem documentary on Alistair Overeem. The first episode of Spong's King of the Ring is now available online.
Catch Spong in MMA action this Saturday night at World Series of Fighting, and join us here at Bloody Elbow for live coverage of the show.