Tyrone Spong is not ruling out a return to MMA.
The seasoned kickboxing standout and Latino WBC and WBO heavyweight boxing champion is interested in resuming his MMA career, and he wouldn’t mind doing it in the premier organization – the UFC. Spong (2-0 MMA) is focused on boxing at the moment, but he won’t shut the door to a run with the UFC if the offer makes sense.
“All they have to do is give me a good contract,” Spong told MMA Junkie. “Listen, they’re not my level, they’re not on my level, and that’s plain and simple.
“I mean, I could go to my gym right here, and I could show you I got over 13 belts. I don’t fight for belts anymore. It’s a prestige thing to have a belt of the best organization like the WBC, the WBO, the IBF, WBA. But in the end, you can’t eat a belt. I just keep it real. I fight for legacy, and I fight to take care of my family. That’s why I fight.”
Although Spong is known for his extensive kickboxing background, having fought at the world-class level in K-1, Glory, and many other promotions, the Surinamese fighter is experienced in MMA.
Spong competed twice in MMA, picking up a knockout and a decision win under the WSOF banner in 2012 and 2013. He’s also been training for years under the tutelage of Henry Hooft, one of the top MMA coaches in the game.
Spong believes he could easily hang with top opposition in the UFC, especially after seeing some of his fellow kickboxers do well.
“There’s a lot of great guys in the UFC, but I feel like there’s a lot of guys that are being over-hyped, as well,” Spong said. “But all good for them, that’s what you need. You need to get paid, you need the promotion, you need to be seen by all the fans in America and worldwide.
“So that’s all good for them, but I just know my mind set, my skill level, and everything is above the majority of the people in the UFC. I say that not with any arrogance, just with straight-up confidence. You see it with those two examples with Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Israel Adesanya. I have 138 fights, then I have 14 professional boxing fights, and then I have my two MMA fights. There’s not a lot I haven’t seen.”
Spong plans to focus on boxing for the time being and continue to grow his unbeaten record to hopefully challenge for a major title in the future. However, if the offer is right, the 35-year-old competitor wouldn’t mind changing his plans.
“I know (UFC president Dana White) very well, and Dana likes me,” Spong said. “We’ve had some conversations in the past. I was going to jump in one time to save a main event in Ireland, and we almost made a deal, but we couldn’t really come out with the contract and the money, so that’s just one thing.
“I don’t like to be tied up in a contract, but hey, if the money is right, you don’t mind, then it’s worth it. But I’d like to be able to fight other disciplines, as well, but you never know. Right now there is nobody closer to the UFC head than Ali Abdelaziz (Spong’s manager), so you never know what might happen.”