Tyrone Spong is easily one of the best and most talented fighters in the world, and the ten-time kickboxing world champion returns to the ring this weekend at GLORY 15: Istanbul with another championship on his mind.
Spong is one of four competitors fighting for the right to become the inaugural GLORY light heavyweight champion Saturday night free on Spike TV.
Before his upcoming fight, Spong took the time to discuss the upcoming tournament, his plans for fighting this year, and his greatest career accomplishment with FanSided.com. Below is what he had to say.
Thoughts on his first tournament bout on Saturday night
“I am feeling good man. I am ready. I just need to focus on [Saulo Cavalari] first and go from there. I know he is a strong kid and has a lot of power. This is the biggest fight of his career. This is the biggest fight ever for him, so I know he is going to be very hungry and ready. I am going to be ready for him too though.”
On strategy going into the tournament
“You keep certain things in mind for all potential opponents, but you need to focus on the task at hand which is the first opponent.”
Preference on facing either Nathan Corbett or Gokhan Saki in the second round
“I do not really care who I fight. I just fought Nathan [Corbett] a few months ago, so I think the fans would prefer me to fight Gokhan Saki, but that is up to Nathan Corbett and Gokhan Saki. I will be ready for either.”
Wanting redemption for his loss to Gokhan Saki
“Of course I want to get redemption, otherwise I would not be a fighter. I am a different athlete then I was back then. I was relying on my talent way too much back then. Not that I didn’t train hard, but I was not focused on my craft as much as I am doing that now. I am a completely different fighter and a different person now.”
Training with the Blackzilians
“It made me a more serious athlete and a better fighter for sure. I have the best team at Jaco Hybrid Training Center. My manager, Glenn Robinson, makes sure that everything I need is in the gym and everybody can prepare and focus on their bouts. All the equipment, everything there is the best you could possibly ask for. I think it made me an overall better fighter.”
Discussing Kickboxing’s newfound fame in America with GLORY
“I am the biggest name that GLORY has right now. I feel privileged that I can be an ambassador for the sport in the states. Everything happened by coincidence. I moved here three years ago, not knowing that this would happen. And not only in kickboxing, you know. I have a following in kickboxing, MMA and boxing. I never dreamed about that. I just did my thing, and look where we are at now. For me, being able to be an ambassador for kickboxing here in the states is a true privilege. I will look to continue to put on good shows for the fans.”
His plans for fighting this year
“I know I am going to have a boxing fight this year as well. I plan of fighting in kickboxing, MMA, and boxing this year. I think I am going to have at least five fights in total.”
Anyone else on the Glory roster you want to fight?
“No not really. I don’t have a preference when it comes to my opponents. If it’s Saki, Corbett, or whoever is in GLORY, I am just a fighter ready to fight. I am going to Istanbul looking to win the tournament and become the champion. I am going to give it my all to try to do that. I became champion last year in an eight man tournament, and this year it is a new round with new chances. After that, we will see what is next.”
The difficulty of fighting in a one night tournament
“It is very hard. You have to think about your first fight, and if you win then you are probably injured. Your neck, your body, basically everything gets stiff back in the waiting rooms, and then you have to get up and fight again. If it is an eight man tournament, you have to fight three times in one night. Figure it out, it is hard.”
His greatest career accomplishment
“Representing the nation of Suriname, my home country, and getting a medal from the president of the country in front of the whole nation. Everybody there supports me. I think that is something I appreciate also because of my family. My family was very proud of me, and I accomplished something not only for myself, but for the whole nation and especially my family.
“Not that my family is not proud of my fights and victories in the ring, they are because they support me to the fullest extent. I have had some great fights. I have had 113 professional fights and I am a ten-time world champion in six different weight classes. I am blessed and privileged to be in this position.”
GLORY 15 will air via tape delay on Spike TV Saturday night with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET.