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Monday, 04/23/2012, 08:25 am

Bellator's Ron Sparks, "I'm not that so called safe fight"


(Louisville, KY) – Popular Bellator heavyweight Ron “The Monster” Sparks (8-1) has been fighting since he was a kid. He started as a kickboxing sparring partner for friends before stepping in to the ring to compete himself. It wasn’t until he first put on MMA gloves that he truly felt he was where he needed to be.

The 6’5″, 265 pound fighter is an intimidating sight standing across the cage from anyone. A lot of times
throughout his career there was an issue when it came to booking opponents.

“It’s been hard to find fights being the size I am with my background you know”, said Sparks. “I was supposed to
fight Bob Sapp, Tim Sylvia, Gary Goodridge, Ray Mercer, Bobby Lashley, and the list goes on. Those fights fell
through for one reason or another. The fights came at a time when those guys needed a win, and I think when they
found out who I was they didn’t want the fight anymore. They didn’t want an undefeated guy. They probably wanted
someone safe. Trust me. I come to fight. I’m never that so called safe fight”, Sparks finished.

Ron has been in a number of fighting organizations, but none stuck. His association with the short lived American
Fight League garnered him a spot on the cover of a Tapout magazine, and helped him realize the power of the media.

“That was a wild ride for me”, stated Sparks. “The AFL was full of good people with good vision, but they just
didn’t have the financial backing these other organizations had. There were a lot of other forces working against
them, too. That being said, I think that was where I really saw myself step out of the shadows and open some eyes. I wanted to prove myself and show I wasn’t afraid to put myself out there. Critics can say what they want. I just ignore them and do my thing”.

Sparks’s last fight saw him on the receiving end of a knockout by fellow Bellator heavyweight Eric Prindle. When
asked about a rematch Ron was more than ready to give an answer.

“Hell yeah I want a rematch with Eric Prindle. In that fight I didn’t have a lot of time to get in to my rhythm. Prindle got me this time, but trust me when I say it will be different the second time. Prindle is a nice guy don’t get me wrong, but when that cage door closes that second time my hand will be raised at the end of the fight”.

Before he can get that rematch he has a fight at Bellator 69 against veteran fighter Kevin Asplund (15-1) on May
18. This will be Sparks’s 5th fight for the Bellator organization. Despite his happiness with them, Sparks wasn’t always sure he would end up where he did.

“I was approached by the UFC at one time. They told me to get one more win and I was in basically. I wanted to be in the UFC pretty bad at that time. Then Bellator came in, and showed me what they had to offer. They signed me before my next fight could happen. I’ve never looked back”, Sparks revealed.

Ron also spoke about the current heavyweight division and the negative media attention it has gotten in the past few weeks. Specifically he discussed his thoughts on the problem of performance enhancing drugs being spotlighted in MMA.

“I don’t use PED’s. Never had to. The problem stems from, really, I would say a lot of it is the added pressure
of being in the UFC. Those guys certainly have saturated the TV market and the PPV market with their product. A lot of these fighters feel that added stress and let it get to them. Their mindset is if they fail in the UFC it might be over for their careers. They don’t realize that places like Bellator are legit. Bellator treats me well and I never feel that one loss could be it for me in the organization”.

Ron Sparks is one of the most respected heavyweights outside of the UFC, and doesn’t see himself retiring anytime soon.

“They’ll have to kill me”, said Ron. “I love fighting and I always will. It’s in my blood. MMA is one of those things I love and I want to compete as long as possible. As long as the fans still want to see me I will be there. I don’t care if I’m 50 plus years old. I love what I do”.

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