Thursday, September 8, 2011
Dan Spohn Interview
The first time I interviewed Dan Spohn he said "No one wants to be the local fighter forever". Coming off his decision win over John Hawk for the NAAFS Light Heavyweight title, Dan gets his chance to prove he is more than just a local fighter when he fights Dane Bonnigson on September 24th at Bellator in Canton, Ohio. As his war with Hawk showed, Dan Spohn is willing to do what it takes to get the job done, which will surely serve him well in attempting to impress the people at Bellator and try and earn his way into the next 205 pound tournament.
Q: Can you start out talking about how you got started in the sport?
A: I started with traditional Martial Arts and trained in that style for a long time. I met Joe McCall and he is the person who introduced me to cage fighting. I did my first cage for for NAAFS, one of their earlier fights.
Q: Your last fight was a decision victory over John Hawk for the NAAFS Light Heavyweight title, in a fight of the year candidate. Was that your toughest fight so far?
A: I guess with how tough John is and how many rounds it went, it probably could be one of my toughest fights to date.
Q: Do you prefer wars like that or would you rather just get it done quick?
A: I prefer a really hard fight, but like everybody I guess I would like to get my chance to fight somebody that I can put away fast and make it a nice highlight reel.
Q: How did it feel to get that NAAFS title?
A: It felt great. That's been my goal since I turned pro. To win that title and prove to myself that I could do that.
Q: In your last interview you said "No one wants to be the local fighter forever". Was that your first step on no longer being the local fighter?
A: Yeah, definitely. I mean, if you stay around as local fighter forever, you aren't going to go anywhere. I definitely want to move up in my career and go national. That's why its such a great opportunity to get to fight for Bellator.
Q: Speaking of that, you are fighting Dane Bonnigson for Bellator, how did you find out about this opportunity?
A: I found out from Sam Caplan and Greg Kalikas. They let me know they would be coming to Canton and I would have a chance to fight on the prelim card. I look at it as a chance to show the guys at Bellator what I can do and how I can fight. To show them I am worth having on their cards in the future, especially on the main card.
Q: What do you know about Dane?
A: Both of us have fought in the NAAFS for the most part of our career. He was a really talented amateur. He was 9-0 or 10-0 as an amateur. He had a little hiccup in his pro debut and got caught in a choke and his second fight he finished fast. He is a tough opponent and most of his fights don't go out of the first round.
Q; Would you expect him to want to take it down as opposed to standing with you?
A: I'm not really sure what his plans are. He could want to stand and go for a big knock out or anything like that. Everything changes when someone gets hit.
Q: You have more experience in big fights, is that an advantage for you?
A: I think my main advantage is I have had more pro fights and fights that have gone the distance. I am used to knowing what its like to fight through five full five minute rounds. I am gonna try and push the pace and try and make him get really tired, and that will be where I have the advantage.
Q: So what would be the key for you, just pushing the pace or something else?
A: I would say keeping him out of his comfort zone. Anywhere he may feel he has an advantage, I will keep him away from that. Keep him from rushing in and finishing fast.
Q: I know you are not a big prediction guy, but I will ask anyways, how does this end?
A: The only way I can say I see it ending is with me winning. I don't know for sure how, I have been working my Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and Boxing, and everything. I am comfortable wherever the fight ends up and looking for a finish.
Q: So safe to assume you are looking to impress and get a shot at the 205 tournament?
A: I am looking to at least get considered for that tournament. I think it starts in 2012, that's something I have my eye on and if I perform and do what they are wanting to see, then maybe I will get a spot.
Q: After this fight, any idea what you want next, or just focusing on this?
A: Right now, this is one of the biggest fights I ever had since it's for Bellator. I am just focusing on this and kind of waiting to see what is really an option after this fight.
Q: If Bellator does bring you back, would you like to still be able to defend the NAAFS title?
A: Yeah, I am hoping they work together to where I can retain my title and get to defend it.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: I want to say thank you to all my sponsors for helping me get where I am at, and everybody that has been there throughout the years. My instructors, friends and trainers and people I train with. Thanks to Bellator and thanks to Greg, he is a big reason I was able to get on this card I believe. Thanks to the NAAFS for all the promoting and marketing they do for us. Thanks to everybody that's helped me, I remember everybody and if I make it I am gonna help them to.