|Other names King of the Ring|
Weight 102 kg
Name Tyrone Spong
|Reach 74.5 in (189 cm)|
Role Mixed Martial Artist
Style Muay Thai, Kickboxing
Height 1.88 m
Career start 2001, 2012
|Born Tyrone Clinton Spong
September 3, 1985 (age 30)
Paramaribo, Suriname (1985-09-03) |
Division Super Heavyweight Heavyweight Cruiserweight Middleweight Light Heavyweight (205 lb) (MMA) Heavyweight (Boxing)
Similar People Gokhan Saki, Remy Bonjasky, Alistair Overeem, Melvin Manhoef, Badr Hari
UFC Fortaleza: Jair Rozenstruik Hopes Countryman Tyrone Spong Joins Him In UFC - MMA Fighting
Tyrone Clinton Spong (born September 3, 1985) is a Surinamese-Dutch professional boxer and former kickboxer and mixed martial artist. He is the reigning WFCA Cruiserweight Muay Thai champion, former Glory 95kg Slam Champion and It's Showtime 95MAX World champion, fighting out of Fighting Factory Carbin in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- UFC Fortaleza Jair Rozenstruik Hopes Countryman Tyrone Spong Joins Him In UFC MMA Fighting
- Early life
- Kickboxing career
- World Series of Fighting
- Personal life
Tyrone Spong was born in Suriname. In 1990 at the age of 5, he moved to the Netherlands with his family. Growing up in the Bijlmermeer, he was often involved in street fighting and began training in kickboxing at thirteen when he found a gym by coincidence. After getting his "ass whooped" in his first day of training, he was motivated to improve. He had his first match at fifteen and won by first-round knockout. Some of his early sparring partners included Alistair and Valentijn Overeem, and Gilbert Yvel.
In 2003, his first year as a pro, he made his mark winning 12 fights that year. In 2004, he fought against Rafi Zouheir at the Battle of Zaandam and won his first European Muay Thai Title (World Kickboxing Network). In 2004 Spong also visited Japan to compete in Shootboxing where he lost to Ryuji Goto. Goto suplexed him in the final seconds of the fight to earn a well-received unanimous decision. His next fight in April 2005, was against Belgian Mohammed Ouali for another European Title (WPKL). Spong won the fight by unanimous decision.
In December, 2005 at the A-1 Combat Cup in Duisburg, after three consecutive KO's in one night, Tyrone Spong won his first tournament Championship.
In 2006, Spong had two his biggest victories of his young career, KO wins over Muay Thai veteran Joerie Mes and two weeks later knocking out K-1 superstar Kaoklai Kaennorsing from Thailand in a first round.
On March 28, 2009, Spong participated in the first ever K-1 Heavyweight (-100 kg) Title tournament, held in Yokohama, Japan. He was beaten by Gokhan Saki in semifinals by right hook KO of the extra round.
Spong finally met rival Nathan Corbett at Champions of Champions II in what was widely considered a battle between the two best Muay Thai fighters in the world at their weight class for the W.M.C. world title -93 kg. The fight was a close affair with Spong knocking Corbett down on the second round only for it to end with a controversial decision. In the third round Corbett managed to knock Spong out with a huge right hook causing the referee to stop the fight. However, due to the referee's misleading hand signals, Corbett rushed back in to knock Spong down once more, not sure that the fight had been stopped. After considerable confusion the fight was declared a no contest instead of a Corbett KO win.
After defeating the Worlds heavyweight champion, Kyotaro he fought Jerome Le Banner in April 2010. Similar to the Nathan Corbett fight Spong broke his right hand in the first round and was knocked down. Despite coming back strongly he lost by decision. At the end of the year he qualified for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final, defeating veteran Ray Sefo in an elimination match, only to lose to eventual winner Alistair Overeem at the quarter final stage in what was a more competitive fight than most initial thought - as Overeem was much the bigger fighter. At the start of 2011, Spong had to vacate the It's Showtime 95MAX world title due to a number of issues such as not having had a title defense in the allocated two years and his management stating that he had moved up in weight to fight as a heavyweight.
He faced Remy Bonjasky at Glory 5: London in London, England on March 23, 2013. Spong won via one-punch KO with a right hook in the second round.
Spong returned to 95 kg to fight in the Glory 9: New York - 2013 95kg Slam in New York City, New York, United States on June 22, 2013. He had a scare in the quarter-finals when he was dropped by Michael Duut immediately as their bout started, although it was not counted by the referee. Just moments after returning to his feet, he landed a crushing right hand on Duut, sending him crashing to the canvas and ensuring his passage to the semis against Filip Verlinden. It was a technical battle this time, with Spong outpointing the Belgian and taking a unanimous decision. A match with Danyo Ilunga awaited him in the final but it ended in a controversial and anticlimactic fashion. As the fight began, both fighters met in the center of the ring and Spong unloaded a flurry of punches. As Ilunga covered up and prepared to counter, referee Mufadel Elghazaoui jumped in and stopped the fight, giving Spong the TKO win at just sixteen seconds of the first round. Although, it was later revealed that there was a "no standing eight count" rule in effect at the event as per the New York State Athletic Commission's regulations, the stoppage was still deemed premature by much of the kickboxing community.
He twice dropped Nathan Corbett with left hooks, winning by second-round TKO in their long-awaited rematch at Glory 11: Chicago - Heavyweight World Championship Tournament in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States on October 12, 2013.
Competing for the inaugural Glory Light Heavyweight Championship, he fought in the Glory 15: Istanbul - Light Heavyweight World Championship Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey on April 12, 2014. After defeating Saulo Cavalari via unanimous decision in the semi-finls, he then faced Gökhan Saki in a highly anticipated rematch in the final. Midway through the opening round, Spong threw a kick to Saki's left leg. Saki checked the kick, causing Spong's lower right leg to fracture immediately and end the fight via TKO.
Spong underwent surgery to repair his broken leg and should return to training in October 2014. On 14 April 2016 he stated that he has retired from kickboxing and looking forward to new challenges.
World Series of Fighting
Spong made his highly anticipated MMA debut against Travis Bartlett at World Series of Fighting 1 on November 3, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada in the light heavyweight (205 lb) division. For his MMA debut he trained with the Blackzilians for over a year with such fighters as K-1 World Grand Prix winner and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and former UFC light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort. Spong knocked out Bartlett at 3:15 of the first round with a straight right.
Spong faced Angel DeAnda at World Series of Fighting 4 on August 10, 2013, in the main event. Spong won via unanimous decision.
Spong was scheduled to face Jake Heun on December 18, 2015 at World Series of Fighting 26, but pulled out with an injury.
Spong defeated Juan Carlos Salas by KO in Round 1 at Brave Warriors in Action PPV event on May 27, 2017 in Mexico.
Spong has three children. He is an avid lover of animals, as is evidenced by the majority of his tattoos. He is the owner of several pit bull terriers, which he bred himself. Spong has trained in the United States with Floyd Mayweather, Sr. He is friends with mixed martial artists Rashad Evans, Alistair Overeem, Muhammed Lawal and Rodney Glunder. He has helped all of them prepare for some of their fights. Spong trains his physical conditioning at the ReAT Sports athletic performance facility in Amsterdam, under the Strength & Conditioning specialist Rayen Bindraban. He has also been decorated with the Honorary Order of the Yellow Star the highest order of Suriname by President Dési Bouterse.