EXCLUSIVE | WSOF 4 Headliner Angel DeAnda: ‘I’m going to knockout Tyron Spong’ | BJPENN.COM RADIO
“That’s going to really solidify my stand-up, by knocking out Tyrone Spong,” says Angel DeAnda. De Anda is set to face heavily-favored Dutch kickboxer, Tyrone Spong, this Saturday at World Series of Fighting 4 in Ontario, CA.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Angel DeAnda may be the underdog in Saturday’s fight at World Series of Fighting 4, but if you ask him, he’s going to make a statement against his opponent, Tyrone Spong. The light heavyweight fighter recently spoke with BJPenn.com Radio about this upcoming match up, weighing in on his opponent illustrious pedigree, his confidence to overcome Spong’s background, and how he is dealing with the largest stage on which he has ever fought.
Those who know Angel DeAnda’s career have seen the 28-year old fight to a 11-2 record with an impressive 10 of his wins coming via KO/TKO. For DeAnda, that is simply the style he likes to bring to the cage.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m going to go out there with a blank mind. I’m going to do whatever, react, and do whatever I can to get that win. My mentality is, for every fight you know, come home with the win or go out on my shield.”
That is exactly what he will try to do Saturday night against the most decorated opponent DeAnda has faced. Tyrone Spong, one of the faces of the growing World Series of Fighting organization, has held world titles in Muay Thai and international titles in kickboxing during the past ten years. For DeAnda, however, Spong’s background is simply a matter of “paperwork.”
“I think I’m right up there with him, I just don’t got the paperwork that says I am. I come from a rough background, just off the streets, decided to pursue a dream, chase it. You know, it changed my whole life- it did a lot for me. I feel like I’m right there with him, just don’t got paperwork to prove it. I’m going to prove it that night.
“I believe anything can be done if you put your mind to it. I put my mind to beating Tyrone Spong, even if it’s at his own game, or if I get an opportunity to take him down… you know, this fight can end and be finished in any way; but at the end of the fight I feel like I’m going to be the one that the referee’s hand is going to be raising.”
This fight, of course, has been a while in the making. DeAnda was supposed to meet Spong at WSOF3 back in June, but Spong was unable to obtain a passport in the weeks leading up to the fight. The World Series rescheduled their bout to headline its 4th promotional event in Ontario, CA.
“I’ve been getting ready [for this fight] since April. Then [the] June [fight] didn’t happen, so I just consistently stayed in the gym. I really don’t take time off and train only when I have fights. I’m always trying to get better. I’ve been in the gym all year, every day; but when I found out I was going to fight him… I’ve been training for this fight for about 8 weeks. A strong 8 weeks.”
In addition to training, DeAnda has studied his opponent- an easy thing to do considering the wealth of film on Spong (the guy has a documentary about him). Unfortunately for DeAnda, Spong has only fought one MMA fight- a first-round KO. The rest of the Dutch kickboxer’s fights have been in Muay Thai and kickboxing organizations.
“I’ve watched all his videos, all his interviews and documentary. I really like to get to know who I’m fighting. He’s just the same as me. He’s really tight in kickboxing. I believe he’s going to bring that over. In his last fight, he was really wide-open. I didn’t get too much off that fight because that guy didn’t really do nothing. [Tyrone] blew that guy out of the water; he didn’t really do nothing to show me anything about Tyrone in MMA. I believe he’s going to have his hands up this time. I believe he respects my striking game, and it’s going to be a great fight. It’s going to be a great fight August 10.”
When asked if he thought Tyrone’s performance in multiple combat sports could hinder his performance in MMA, DeAnda replied that it would do just the opposite.
“If he does boxing, it’s really going to tighten up his hands. If he does kickboxing, his hands are going to be tight and he’s going to have his kicks and knees and all that. The only thing that’s not going to be good for him [is] the ground part. It might play to his advantage, it might not. He might not be able to defend himself on the ground; maybe he’s not looking into that; maybe he thinks that [if] he’s training with Rashad [Evans] he thinks that he can defend anybody’s takedown. I don’t know what’s going on through Spong’s head, [and] I really don’t care what’s going through his head. All that’s going through my head is running through Tyrone Spong August 10.”
What many people may not realize about this fight is that Angel DeAnda asked for it. He was not, as many have presumed, an opponent chosen to face Spong.
“When I first signed with World Series, I threw it out on my Facebook, you know, I just signed with this big promotion. First question on there, first comment on there was, ‘Who would you want to fight first?’ And I put Tyrone Spong. He’s a great stand-up fighter, he’s got all the paperwork behind him that says he is- nobody can doubt that. I really want to test myself against him. Whenever I beat him… That’s really going to solidify my stand-up, by knocking out Tyrone Spong.”
Of course, before DeAnda gets to fight Spong, he must go through what will be the highest-profile build-up to a fight during his career.
“This will be, no doubt, the biggest stage I’ve ever fought on, so all those nerves are there… I’m just doing what I can do, my best. I’m doing what I can, the best I can, to get to the fight as healthy as possible with no injuries.”
About being a heavy underdog in the fight, DeAnda says that’s all the better.
“Yeah that really motivates me. Every fight I’m an underdog. I’m always the underdog, even in my first title fight- both my title fights. So for people to come to want to see Tyrone Spong but leave talking about me, that’s great. No better way to put your name on something than doing it that way.”
Be sure to catch Angel “The Dream” DeAnda take on Tyrone Spong this Saturday, August 10 at WSOF 4. The main card will also feature World Series president, Ray Sefo, fighting Dave Huckaba. WSOF 4 will air live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 7:30 pm PT/10:30 pm ET.