One thing was clear at the WSOF 1 event, the matchmaking in the Tyrone Spong Vs Travis Bartlett fight was at the very least questionable. Spong has a kickboxing record of 68-6-1 but he made his mixed martial arts this past Saturday night. As it turns out, the promotion had a hard time finding an opponent for Spong. They asked seven other fighters, including former UFC fighter Houston Alexander, if they wanted to fight Spong before Bartlett said yes.
According to MMAWeekly:
Some have criticized the fight as mismatched despite Spong having no actual MMA experience (he did have over 100 kickboxing bouts however). In reality, any fighter with more than a 0-0 record in MMA would have been a likely candidate for Spong in his debut, but Bartlett was the man who accepted after seven other, more experience candidates said “no thanks” when approached with the offer to face the Dutch striker.
World Series of Fighting vice president and matchmaker Ali Abdel-Azizconfirmed with MMAWeekly.com that seven different opponents were approached and offered the fight with Spong, and all seven turned down the opportunity until Bartlett was the one who finally said yes.
One name that was confirmed among the list was former UFC light heavyweightHouston Alexander, and Abdel-Aziz said several other recognizable names made up the list of fighters who didn’t want to be Spong’s first test inside the cage.
After Spong’s performance at WSOF 1, it will be interesting to see who agrees to sign to fight him. In the meantime, Spong has been tweeting that he would like to fight Vitali klitschko in a boxing match.
PHOTO CREDIT: ASM