On Saturday night, Tyrone Spong will compete in a different kind of fight.

The accomplished heavyweight kickboxer will make his mixed martial arts debut at 205 pounds against nine-fight pro Travis Bartlett (pictured, left) at the World Series of Fighting’s inaugural event at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Spong’s bout, along with the rest of the main card, airs live on NBC Sports Network. Meanwhile, the preliminary proceedings stream immediately prior on Sherdog.com.

Despite Spong’s Nov. 3 showdown with Bartlett serving as his foray under mixed rules, Spong, 27, says he feels no pressure in transitioning from kickboxing to MMA.

“I’m very happy to be here. I like challenges,” Spong said at Thursday’s pre-fight press conference. “I’ve achieved a lot in kickboxing, and I just needed something new. I came to the states and trained with a lot of MMA guys and thought I’d give it a chance. [There is] no pressure. I believe in myself, and I’m doing this for myself. Of course, I would like to put on a great fight for the fans and the people who stand behind me, but I’m just looking forward to this Saturday.”

One of the fighters with which the Surinamese-born Dutchman has trained is Anthony Johnson, a fellow member of the Florida-based Blackzilians camp. Known to most fans as “Rumble,” Johnson formerly competed for the UFC at 170 pounds and now makes his WSOF debut as a light heavyweight against Bellator veteran D.J. Linderman. According to Spong and Johnson, their collaboration in training has proved fruitful for both parties.

“I’ve benefited a lot from training with Anthony,” Spong said. “He’s experienced and has a good wrestling background. Everybody knows I need to work on my ground game. For him to work with me and point out the things I need to work on, I have benefited a lot.”

Spong likely hopes to use those newfound wrestling skills to keep the fight standing, where he should -- on paper, at least -- outclass his opponent. However, Bartlett -- a heavy-handed southpaw -- says that if Spong wants to go toe-to-toe, he will oblige the highly-regarded striker. According to the American, he will try to take Spong down only if the kickboxer keeps his distance and looks to attack primarily with leg kicks.

“I have no secrets. I fight one way,” said Bartlett. “If he wants to see who can own the real estate, I’m [in]. If he’s playing the leg kick game, then I’m going to have to pressure him and go for shots. But if he wants to go mano-a-mano in the middle of the cage, I’m up for it.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Secret weapons give Shelton boost ahead of Ultimate Fighter debut

  • 29 days ago
  • 3 views

Caged Aggression champion Eric Shelton has an edge going into The Ultimate Fighter season 24, sage advice from UFC veteran Pete Spratt and Hall of Famer Pat Miletich. read news >>

WSOF Continues Signing Spree, Inks Deal with Ramsey Nijem

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

World Series of Fighting continued its signing spree on Monday, announcing it had inked a deal with UFC veteran Ramsey Nijem. read news >>

UFC Unfiltered: Mickey Gall and Rob Dyrdek

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

Mickey Gall calls in ahead of his UFC 203 fight against CM Punk to give his thoughts on what Punk's gameplan will be against him and more. Later, skateboarder, producer, entrepreneur, and reality TV read news >>

WSOF 33 Main Card Complete with Six Fights Set

  • 27 days ago
  • 7 views

World Series of Fighting announced the completion of a six-fight main card for the WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov world championship doubleheader on Oct. 7. read news >>

Podcast: Ian McCall on Scoggins beef and if CM Punk will win - MMA Plus

  • 26 days ago
  • 15 views

Ian McCall featured on The Mind Diet ahead of UFC 203 and he had plenty to say about previously scheduled competitor, 'young dumb kid' Justin Scoggins. read news >>

Joe Silva: UFC Spectacle Couldn’t Survive; It Needed to be a Sport (#FBF)

  • 24 days ago
  • 22 views

#FlashbackFriday video with Joe Silva on the UFC transition from the "bloodiest most brutal spectacle in the history of mankind" to legitimate sport. read news >>

UFC Fight Night Arlovski vs Barnett: What you got right & wrong

  • 23 days ago
  • 3 views

UFC fans made their predictions ahead of UFC Fight Night Arlovski vs Barnett - but were they correct? We look at all the prefight picks and see what really happened on fight night. read news >>

Bleacher Report MMA Rankings for September 2016 Ahead of UFC 203

  • 21 days ago
  • 12 views

It's been a while, folks, but the Bleacher Report MMA rankings are back! It's been a hectic month-and-a-half, with a number of major events and a number of good fights going down across nearly every read news >>

Andre Harrison Puts Titan FC Belt on the Line Again, Continuing Push Towards UFC

  • 20 days ago
  • 17 views

Undefeated Titan FC featherweight champion Andre “The Bull” Harrison feels like he should have already gotten a UFC call-up, but continues to push on. read news >>

Overeem says Miocic enjoying title life too much

  • 20 days ago
  • 2 views

Ahead of their heavyweight championship clash at UFC 203, challenger Alistair Overeem thinks champion Stipe Miocic is enjoying the title life too much and he's hungry enough to take the belt on Sept. read news >>