Jeremy Spoon has a promising future in mixed martial arts. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
On May 3, 1999, the clear humid skies over Chickasha, Okla., turned green as it became evident that a widespread severe weather system of historic proportions was about to unfold. What followed was a three-day storm that peppered the Oklahoma landscape with violent tornadoes and massive hailstones.
Jeremy Spoon, a Chickasha resident, remembers that Monday like it was yesterday, but little did he realize that nine years later he would be sweeping through Oklahoma’s MMA scene with a tornadic effect all his own.
In truth, outside of those devastating storms, Spoon’s life in the small town of roughly 16,000 had always been quite routine.
Every morning, he woke up, ate breakfast and went to school; and every day after class, his father, Mario, brought him home. A couple days after his 11th birthday, the routine abruptly changed, and Spoon’s grandparents picked him up instead. After a long nap, he awoke to his grandfather, who sat him down and explained to him that his father had died suddenly.
“I remember just sitting there with my grandfather,” Spoon, 26, told Sherdog.com. “I just sat there. I don’t know if I even cried.”
Losing a father is tough for any young kid to stomach. Luckily for Spoon, there was one person who was always there when needed -- his identical twin brother, Jerod Spoon, a fellow mixed martial artist. These days, it is hard to discuss Jeremy with anyone without hearing “they.” During the opening of one of Jeremy’s fights, the announcer even referred to him as the “other brother” -- a title of which he was proud.
“Without [Jerod], I wouldn’t be as good as I am,” Jeremy said. “When Jerod loses, I lose, and when Jerod wins, I win.”
Training partners oftentimes refer to one another as brothers, but only a select few have the DNA to go along with the partnership. It made the Spoons successful athletes. They began wrestling in seventh grade, and when they reached high school, Jeremy and Jerod both won state championships in Oklahoma.
“My junior year, I won state at 130 pounds and Jerod was the runner up at 135,” said Jeremy, speaking with audible pride. “Then in our senior year, Jerod won state and I was runner up.”
After high school, Jeremy accepted a wrestling scholarship and planned to pursue a degree in nursing, but with the lack of supervision, he and his brother took to partying and earned a reputation as “hard-headed trouble makers.” Jeremy did not like hearing the Spoon family name was synonymous with trouble.
“The Spoon name always meant a lot to me,” he said. “I wanted to get my name back. I wanted to be perceived as a good person.”
Mixed martial arts provided the route. The Spoon brothers began training, and the discipline Jeremy learned gave him a newfound respect for himself and those around him. His training not only brought him closer to his brother, but it instilled a sense of responsibility towards his family.
“I want to be able to take care of my mother and my grandparents,” Jeremy said. “I want to show them how much I care about them and that I was sorry for any mistakes I made in the past.”
Hardware serves as a testament to the success the Spoons have enjoyed, as Jeremy and Jerod are the current featherweight and bantamweight champions inside the Oklahoma-based Bricktown Brawl promotion. The twins recently tried out for Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, hoping to become the first siblings ever to compete together on the show.
Jeremy turned professional in 2008 and, in a short time span, has amassed a perfect record in 10 bouts. He has finished nine of his 10 opponents, eight of them by submission. Though Jeremy has a wrestling base, he shows no fear of fighting off his back.
“Jeremy is a great wrestler,” trainer Scott Landis said, “but he isn’t afraid to pull guard.”
Jeremy made his Bellator Fighting Championships debut at Bellator 37 in March, as he submitted the previously unbeaten Jerrod Sanders with a second-round rear-naked choke. An emerging force to be reckoned with, he also holds an April 2010 submission over Jose Vega, who later reached the semi-finals in Bellator’s Season 3 bantamweight tournament.
Jeremy defended his title against Ramiro Hernandez at Bricktown Brawl 6 on Saturday in Oklahoma City. A Titan Fighting Championship veteran who has never been finished, Hernandez carried a three-fight winning streak into the match. Jeremy beat him by unanimous decision.
With an eye towards the future, Jeremy will set his sights on the King of the Cage bantamweight championship in August, when he will be pitted against Donald Sanchez. Seasoned by 33 professional bouts, Sanchez is no slouch. He has defended his belt five times and recently faced off with Japanese superstar Hatsu Hioki.
The upcoming bouts represent stout challenges for Jeremy, and he could not be more grateful for the opportunities.
“My time will come,” he said. “If it don’t happen now, it will happen later. It’s coming, and I don’t need to force it.”
Records do not mean much to Jeremy. The means justify his ends, and with his father’s name inked on his chest and his twin brother manning his corner, one can tell that he fights for more than just wins and losses. He fights for honor.
“I want to show people I am good enough,” Jeremy said. “I want to show them that I deserve it.”