Over the years more than a few prominent kickboxers have made the switch to MMA, but there has always been a mixed bag of results.

For every former champion like Maurice Smith, there’s also a name like Stefan Leko, who did quite well in kickboxing, but then stumbled, crashed and burned in his MMA career.

Over the past year, kickboxing powerhouse Tyrone Spong has been training his complete MMA game to ensure that he lands more on the Maurice Smith side of things and a little less on the Stefan Leko page. Spong has been a main training partner for the Blackzilians in Florida, where he works with fighters like Rashad Evans, Alistair Overeem and Anthony Johnson on a daily basis.

The training has paid off and Spong will finally make his MMA debut this Saturday night at World Series of Fighting.

“You’ve got to take your time to orientate yourself, what you’re getting yourself into. I’m a kickboxer, I’m a striker, so I had to work on my ground game and I wanted to take my time to do so. I’m not saying I’m a world class grappler or world class wrestler right now, but right now I’d say I understand the game good enough to put on a good show for the fans,” Spong answered when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio about why this is the right time for his debut.

Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

Spong has studied that ideal quite a bit as he heads into his debut fight, and that’s why he put in more than a year of MMA training before officially making the move. He didn’t want to be another unsuccessful case of a kickboxer trying to make it in MMA.

Spong wants to be the new standard and not the exception to the rule.

“That’s why I took my time. I did my proper training with the right people. I’m not afraid to submit myself and listen because a lot of strikers are very hard headed, and if you’re a striker it’s kind of hard to do the ground stuff, and it’s kind of boring sometimes because you’re used to something else,” said Spong.

“I totally submitted myself to my coaches and my teammates, and listened to what I have to do. I was just a student. I just started from scratch.”

The training and time paid off, but Spong understands it’s all theoretical until he steps into the cage. If all of the work was done correctly, Spong believes every light heavyweight in the world should be worried about his entry into the sport.

“I’m a guy they should keep in mind,” said Spong. “I’m a threat to the 205-pound division.”

(Photo credit: Ryan Loco)

Watch the World Series of Fighting Prelims LIVE on MMAWeekly.com, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Ray Borg planning to make an impact in flyweight division

  • 5 days ago
  • 0 views

After nearly two years on the UFC roster, Ray Borg has made an impression on the MMA world, rising to the 12th spot in the flyweight rankings. But his mindset hasn’t changed much. read news >>

Jon Jones to make return against Daniel Cormier at UFC 197 on April 23 (Yahoo Sports)

  • 3 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: A flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and No. 1 contender Henry Cejudo will be the co-main event. read news >>

Jon Jones to make return against Daniel Cormier at UFC 197 on April 23 (Yahoo Sports)

  • 3 days ago
  • 2 views

From Yahoo Sports: A flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and No. 1 contender Henry Cejudo will be the co-main event. read news >>

Justin Scoggins: 'I'm the champion of this division. There's no Demetrious Johnson'

  • 2 days ago
  • 20 views

LAS VEGAS – Justin Scoggins believes he’s the best fighter in the UFC flyweight division. He plans to prove it before the end of the year.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 82 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers

  • 2 days ago
  • 16 views

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson has arrived as a fresh face of the UFC's welterweight division. Johny Hendricks entered the fight appearing in great shape, but looks aren't everything. Thompson dusted f read news >>

ONE exec: We made a play for Benson Henderson, will make play for others

  • a day ago
  • 7 views

If Benson Henderson hadn’t signed with Bellator, ONE Championship was apparently a serious contender to land the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>

The State of the UFC Welterweight Division

  • 18 hours ago
  • 6 views

Last Saturday witnessed a shake-up in the UFC's most unshakeupable division. Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson melted Johny Hendricks with long punches and a massive head kick to earn a first-round knocko read news >>

Holly Holm's Head Coach Hopes Ronda Rousey Has the Guts for Rematch at UFC 200

  • 29 days ago
  • 40 views

The possible Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey rematch at UFC 200 is still very much in play. And the champ's coach, Mike Winkeljohn, hopes Rousey has the guts to step up for the rematch. In an interview w read news >>

How Conor McGregor Stacks Up with the UFC's Lightweight Division

  • 29 days ago
  • 194 views

Conor McGregor is slated to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 197 on March 5. Assuming the UFC meets McGregor’s enormous financial demands, the fight will go ahead. It will read news >>

The Comeback: Nate Diaz lashes out, 'Cyborg' still hopes for Ronda Rousey

  • 29 days ago
  • 44 views

In a sport that never stops moving, even MMA junkies can struggle to keep up with all the latest news. If you missed any of Monday’s biggest headlines, catch up with “The Comeback.”Filed under: Bella read news >>