EXCLUSIVE | Tyrone Spong Talks Upcoming GLORY 9 Slam, Upcoming MMA Return, and Boxing Future | Late Night Cage Side Radio

June 18, 2013 6:00 am by Jake Chastain


| “King of the Ring” Tyrone Spong joined BJPenn.com’s “Kinch” for an interview on Late Night Cage Side Radio this past week and the kick-boxing standout talked about many relevant topics heading into the weekend. Tyrone is scheduled to headline the upcoming GLORY 9 kick-boxing event which goes down this Saturday, June 22nd in New York City. Spong, a former K-1 competitor, will be a part of the night’s eight-man light heavyweight Slam. He was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule to talk about the upcoming GLORY 9, his future in MMA, and his desire to box as well. Here are some of the highlights from that interview on Late Night Cage Side:

He first talked about how his training and preparation were coming along to open up the conversation. Spong stated, “Preparation is going real good. I would say that I’m right on schedule. Honestly I’m ready…the moment I sign the contract I’m ready already. You know? So all this training and everything is just a little bit extra. But I’m ready as soon as I sign the contract.”

He then touched on how excited he was to be fighting in New York for such a big event. Tyrone touched on some of his rough upbringing in Amsterdam and explained that he has come extremely far in his life. Combat sports have opened up doors he couldn’t have imagined and he stated, “I feel like I’m living my dream. I feel very blessed, you know? I couldn’t imagine this for myself growing up, you know? So I’m just very humbled and I feel very blessed and grateful, you know? I’m just happy. I’m working hard for it so for me to be fighting in New York, it’s a big thing.”

Kinch then asked Spong if he was training in his home of Amsterdam or if he was training in Florida with the Blackzilians for this upcoming GLORY 9 tournament. In talking about the Blackzilians in Florida he replied, “This is my home-base, you know? I live here, all my training, my preparations for my fights; I do all my preparations here. I have a great team here, something I was missing for the last few years back in Amsterdam.” He continued, “I didn’t really have a team. I was training by myself and doing my own camps, getting training partners here and there, and now it’s a big family. I feel real good here. We have a great training facility, a great gym, a great manager, just a great team.”

The Blackzilians have been experiencing a lot of recent success with Rashad Evans just getting the nod over Henderson, Vitor’s sick spinning-kick KO of Rockhold,  and Thiago Silva’s super fresh KO of “Feijao”. If mojo from the gym has anything to do with it, Spong might have a spectacular weekend ahead of him. And according to him, he feels as if he’s hitting on all cylinders and his best is yet to come. Spong stated,“I think the few years coming that I have are going to be my peak years.”

The conversation momentarily shifted as Kinch asked Spong about his recent removal from the WSOF 3 card that took place this past weekend. Spong was taken off of the card when he was having trouble getting over to the US. His response was simply, “I was having visa issues.”

Apparently Spong, like many other fighters that travel abroad to The States to train or fight, was just stricken by the sometimes slow moving process of getting a visa. He explained that he would have made it in time for the fight but would not have has the proper amount of time to prepare for, what would have been, his second MMA appearance. Spong explained,“I take my sport very serious, you know? People, the fans have to understand that everything stands and falls by your performance. And I’m in a stage in my career when everything is very crucial, you know? I need to focus and need to work on the things that need to improve and everything. MMA is something new to me, you know? Of course I’m a great athlete but still I take it very serious. I don’t want to go out there and not perform at my best for myself and also for the fans. I want to give the fans their money’s worth.”

“The hardest training is in fighting, like boxing, kick boxing, MMA.”

“You have to do so many different things: Strength and conditioning, techniques, sparring, hitting mitts…it’s crazy.”

When asked if he knew if he’d have a rescheduled MMA debut soon he replied, “I’ll probably have an MMA fight with the next World Series of Fighting; Number 4.”

He was then asked to talk about his most recent performance in GLORY, a KO over Remey Bonjasky. Spong said,“I think it’s speaks for itself. The knock-out was just amazing. He’s never been knocked-out like that before so I was very proud that I could do so. I told you I was going to try to do it and it worked out, you know? I did it so uh, mission accomplished.” He continued, “A ‘W’ is a “W’, you know? But to win like that, it’s for every fighter, I think it’s the best ‘W’.”

Spong is a feared striker in the world of combat sports. He’s dangerous on the feet and many fighters would have a tough time with “The King of the Ring”, but Spong made it clear that he didn’t care who he was fighting and thinks the WSOF is going to make the right choice in matching him up for his second fight. He stated,“I think World Series Of Fighting is a new organization and they’re trying to create some stars and everything. So whoever they give me, I’ll fight. I don’t see anyone as a stepping stone or whatever. I’ll fight anyone.”

But he did feel that he deserved a worthy opponent and feels his skills in striking are going translate well into MMA. He explained, “I’m at a stage in my career that I need challenges. I need things to motivate me. MMA is, for me, a new sport so that motivating enough for me already.”

Spong, who is fighting at 205 pounds, was asked if he considered moving up and taking a fight at heavyweight, like his teammate at Blackzilians Anthony Johnson recently did. Spong explained that the weight advantage in MMA is much different than it is in the pure striking game. He felt that he is much better suited to fight at 205 but also said, “If the challenge is there…like I said, I need challenges, I’ll do whatever. I’ll fight money-weight.”

Kinch also asked if the rumors that Spong wanted to get some professional boxing under his belt as well were true and Tyrone simply replied, “Yep. I will have a boxing match this year, for sure.”

The tri-sport athlete continued by saying, “I don’t see myself as just a kick-boxer, or just a MMA fighter, or just a boxer. I see myself as an all around athlete. So I’m trying to improve myself every chance I get.”

When asked if he had a date set or in mind for that boxing debut he said, “What I’m going to handle is GLORY 9. It’s close so I’m really focused on that.”

On cue the conversation shifted back to this Saturday’s GLORY 9 event. Spong talked about how he felt that his first opening opponent, Michael Duut, was going to approach the fight. Spong said, “He feels like he has a lot to prove against me. I think he’s going all-or-nothing, you know? I’m just ready for whatever. I’m ready and I feel comfortable with him trying to bring a fight because I like fighters who come to fight, so let’s bang it out”

And when asked he thought the fight would play out he replied, “I always go for the knock-out. That’s no secrete. But I can’t predict how it’s going to go but I’m going to give the fans a really good fight.”

Spong also talked about how much of an impact GLORY is having on the kick-boxing community and how it’s helping the sport grow by leaps and bounds. He gave his props by saying, “It’s a new organization but their already putting on these great events and great shows worldwide. I think the future holds big things for GLORY and it’s going to get even bigger.” He continued,“I’m going to do my part of promoting the sport. That’s just to perform and give the fans and everybody whose watching a great show, exciting, hard fight, and that’s what I’m going to bring.”

When asked if he was worried about the speed or power of Duut and if his game plan or training coming into this fight changed in any way he stated, “I always stick with my regular game plan. I’m not worried about nobody’s speed. I got my own speed. I’m fast enough. What am I doing differently? I think I’ll go fishing this camp a little bit more.”

In closing Spong explained that he’s heading into Saturday looking to win the entire tournament. And not only that, but Spong explained that he wants to give the fans a treat in the process. He said,“I’m looking forward to fighting three times that night and that says enough. So that means I going to win this fight, I want to win this fight and I’m going to try to do it in the most impressive way possible.”

GLORY 9 takes place this Saturday, June 22nd at the Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, New York.

We wish Mr. Spong the very best of luck as he heads into his 209 pound Slam and we thank him for his time on BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cageside Radio.

To listen to Spong’s entire interview with our boys Chase and Kinch click here.

Jake Chastain


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