Tyrone Spong only worked with kickboxing legend Ramon Dekkers once, but saw him frequently, including at Golden Glory gym. When he suddenly passed, Spong was shocked.
“I’m really sad about his death and for his family,” said Spong to MMA Mania. “All the fighters looked up to him. He was such a big inspiration to me and it’s just bad that he passed away at such a young age. I feel blessed and happy that I got a chance to meet him and know him.”
Spong recalled watching him compete when he was just 13-years-old. The two would exchange conversations, with Dekkers telling Spong he was on the right track and was a fan.
Dekkers passed away at 43-years-old last week after suffering a heart attack while riding his bicycle. In his career, he went 186-33-2 before officially retiring. He was the first foreigner named Thai Boxer of the Year.
Spong returns for GLORY on March 23 against Remy Bonjasky from England. Last year, Spong made quick work of Travis Bartlett in his MMA debut out of the World Series of Fighting. His return for them has not been set.