Tyrone Spong chopped down his foe at WSOF 4. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Perhaps Tyrone Spong was a lumberjack in a previous life.
The Suriname-born Dutch kickboxer hacked away at Angel DeAnda with ruthless leg kicks en route to a unanimous decision over the Tachi Palace Fights light heavyweight champion in the World Series of Fighting 4 headliner on Saturday at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. All three cageside judges sided with Spong (2-0, 2-0 WSOF): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
DeAnda (11-3, 0-1 WSOF) had no answer for the assault on his legs. Inside and outside Spong went, knocking the 28-year-old Last Stand Fight Team representative off his feet more than once. To his credit, DeAnda kept his nose in the fight and landed his share of punches, but Spong overwhelmed him with skill, speed and power, mixing in a timely jab and hooks to the head and body.
“I didn’t really have a strategy,” Spong said. “I didn’t know too much about him, but I do know now that he’s tough as nails.”
Moraes Dominant in Fifth Straight Win
In the co-main event, leg kicks and vastly superior standup carried world-ranked bantamweight Marlon Moraes to a lopsided unanimous decision over promotional newcomer Brandon Hempleman. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Moraes (11-4-1, 3-0 WSOF), who has rattled off five consecutive victories.
Hempleman (9-2, 0-1 WSOF) was game, but the gap in talent and big-fight experience proved too great an obstacle to overcome.
Moraes did his best work in the first round, where he bloodied the Idahoan with a right hook to the forehead. Later in the round, he clipped Hempleman with another right hook, drove him to the ground with follow-up blows and swarmed with rapid-fire punches. The cut began to bleed profusely.
By the start of the second frame, Moraes was cruising. The 25-year-old Brazilian mixed in a relentless stream of low kicks, leaving Hempleman’s lead leg badly damaged and forcing him to alter his stance. The underdog’s situation did not improve down the stretch; though hobbled from the kicks, he survived his encounter with Moraes and pushed it to a decision.
Newell Guillotine Submits Caldwell
Former Xtreme Fighting Championships titleholder Nick Newell -- a congenital amputee whose left arm stops just below the left elbow -- submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 alum Keon Caldwell with a first-round guillotine choke in a lightweight showcase. Caldwell (9-2, 0-1 WSOF) conceded defeat 2:07 into round one.
Newell (10-0, 1-0 WSOF) struck for multiple takedowns and kept the pressure on his opponent throughout their brief encounter. A little less than two minutes into the fight, the unbeaten 27-year-old grounded Caldwell, passed his guard and cinched the guillotine for the tapout.
Newell has finished nine of his first 10 foes, seven of them by submission.
“I had a bunch of ways I thought I could beat him, and this was one of them,” he said. “My jiu-jitsu is nothing to mess with. I can hang with anybody in the world.”
Huckaba Survives Leg Kicks, Finishes Sefo
Former Gladiator Challenge champion Dave Huckaba stopped World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo on second-round punches in a featured heavyweight tilt. Huckaba (21-5, 1-0 WSOF) brought it to a close 4:32 into round two, as he won for the fourth time in as many appearances.
Sefo (2-2, 0-1 WSOF) tried to chop down the Californian with blistering kicks to the thigh and appeared close to doing so in the second round. However, Huckaba countered an errant head kick with a searing left hook that forced his staggered boss to retreat.
A volley of unanswered power punches against the fence forced the stoppage and likely sent the 42-year-old Sefo into retirement.
“My trainers -- I love them to death,” Huckaba said. “This was a dream come true. Ray’s standup is phenomenal. He’s a legend.”
‘JZ’ Cavalcante Dispatches Griffin
Blackzilians representative Gesias Cavalcante put away Ultimate Fighting Championship castaway Tyson Griffin with third-round punches from back mount in a lightweight showcase. Cavalcante (18-7-1, 2-1 WSOF) closed out his counterpart 97 seconds into round three.
The first 10 minutes were competitive and emotionally charged, as Griffin (16-7, 0-1 WSOF) attacked with punches in combinations and kicks to the inside and outside of the Brazilian’s legs. Cavalcante never quit moving forward and kept the Xtreme Couture export circling on the perimeter, his back to the cage, for much of the match.
In the third round, Cavalcante secured a takedown, passed to half guard and eventually moved to mount. Griffin surrendered his back immediately, and “JZ” strengthened his position by flattening out the Californian. Unanswered punches and hammerfists followed, leading referee Jason McCoy to intercede despite protests from Griffin.
“He wasn’t escaping. He wasn’t moving. I train for that,” Cavalcante said. “That’s the referee’s decision.”
Prelims: Harris Outpoints Former Sengoku Champion Santiago
In preliminary action, Gerald Harris (22-5, 1-1 WSOF) won for the fifth time in six bouts and claimed a unanimous nod against former Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago (25-12, 0-1 WSOF) at 170 pounds, earning matching 29-27 marks on the scorecards; Lewis Gonzalez (9-0, 1-0 WSOF) remained undefeated in taking a unanimous technical decision over onetime Maximum Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Antonio McKee (28-6-2, 0-1 WSOF), procuring 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 scores from the judges; former King of the Cage champion Jared Papazian (16-10, 1-0 WSOF) captured a unanimous verdict from John Robles (7-2, 0-1 WSOF) in an entertaining bantamweight scrap, sweeping the scorecards by 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 marks; and Millennia MMA’s Victor Valenzuela (13-6-2, 1-0 WSOF) submitted Isaac Gutierrez (5-4, 0-1 WSOF) with a rear-naked choke 2:41 into the first round of their 150-pound catchweight affair.