Dallas Jawbreakers founder Roy Spoon expecting a 'different Chris Jones' at XKO 8
06 October 2010
The tide is rising for Texas MMA. It's almost as if there's a gym around every corner where you might even catch a high profile seminar with the likes of Royce Gracie or some other high-level martial artist.
Of course, it wasn't always this way. Ask some of our fighters who have a healthy pro record already and they'll tell you that they had to learn on the job, experimenting with various combat disciplines, weight-cutting, and serving as their own strength trainer and manager.
This Saturday at the XKO Arena in Arlington, Texas, Roy Spoon (5-2) contends for the vacant Xtreme Knockout lightweight title as a self-made man.
He entered the sport with a little boxing experience here, some wrestling there (middle school -- there was no wrestling when Spoon, 27, was at Garland High), years of fighting on the streets and with his brothers, and a powerful urge to test his skills.
Spoon took it upon himself to put it all together and formed the Dallas Jawbreakers with some friends and friends of friends. They didn't enjoy the vast wisdom of the likes of Guy Mezger, and they didn't charge money for cardio-kickboxing classes. They simply built their own ring and created a team right in Spoon's garage.
"It was like, I'm not gonna break everything down," Spoon explained. "If I see that you're serious, we'll help you out, but it's kind of sink or swim. You're coming in here, you're wanting to train. We gotta get ready for fights. We're fighters. You're going to be a fighter or you're not. You can go somewhere else and pay somebody money and they'll teach you. We just didn't have the time. We all worked full-time jobs and did that as amateurs and as a hobby."
Spoon recalls that out of eight on the team, at one point, seven were title holders.
"Every day we were beating the crap out of each other," Spoon said. "That's why we had nothing but champions there. The people that couldn't handle it didnt' come back. We had probably 50 people show up to do it. Some people would last a month, some people would last a week. It was all fighters."
Though the Dallas Jawbreakers still keep in touch regularly, they each eventually sought deeper wells to draw from. Spoon himself will represent Kingdom MMA when he faces off against Chris Jones (4-1), who is no stranger to the promotion, but has not fought almost one year. This is a distinction that has Spoon on guard.
"Watching some of the videos, he likes to brawl," Spoon said. "He'll get into a brawl, which is fine with me. But I do know he trains with some really good guys, and he has been for a while. So I know that's gotta be helping him out. He's not going to be the same fighter as the last time he fought. Dude hasn't fought in about a year or so, so I'm definitely expecting a different Chris."
With five wins and five finishes, Jones has his own concerns as well. However, one of the most notable distinctions that Spoon brings to the cage is an enormous weight advantage. Spoon claims that he typically weighs about 182 lbs by fight night and routinely gets approached over the transformation he undergoes between weigh-ins and showtime.
"I had somebody's coach come up to me [and said], "Man, you got a twin brother or something 'cause there's no way you're that same dude that was in here yesterday."
Meanwhile, Spoon is making adjustments to prepare for this Saturday's five-round title bout. Spoon confided that he is not only physically ready but professionally.
"I do expect to walk away with the win," Spoon said. "Definitely. I feel I've earned it, just with the work I've put in. I haven't slacked, I haven't missed a day. I haven't went home and been like, 'Aw, not gonna do it today.' I force myself to do it every day. That's with everything, from the diet to the trainings.
Spoon said that XKO's consistency has motivated him as well.
"[The other promotions], they're just so sporadic," Spoon said. "They might get this one guy on the card that's good, then have nine fights, then turns out they got four fights whenever it comes time to do the fights.
"The way that [XKO has] done the belt thing...they let it grow. They've done it to where everything's going to be respectable. The belt's going to be respectable. It's not going to be a card where there's five title fights and even though this guy won the title last time, they got two different guys fighting for it this time.
Everything that they've done, I definitely feel like they've done it the right way."
Stay tuned for ongoing coverage of XKO 8: Jones vs. Spoon.