Photo: Glory Sports International
Tyrone Spong suffered a broken shin in his April 12 kickboxing bout with Gokhan Saki, but the “King of the Ring” says he is already on his way to a speedy recovery.
“It’s just another challenge,” Spong tells Sherdog.com. “I’m walking on the leg already only days after a surgery that was 100-percent successful.
“I’m going to heal faster than people expect. My doctors are optimistic for a fast recovery. It’s hard to say exactly when I will be back, but I’ll be doing my part to rehab as fast as I can.”
Spong and Saki met in the final round of Glory’s one-night, $200,000 light heavyweight title tournament, a highly anticipated rematch of their 2009 meeting in the K-1 ring. The fight ended quickly and in shocking fashion when Spong threw a low kick that was met with a wall of bone as Saki raised his own in defense. Spong’s shin gave way; the 28-year old suffered a broken tibia and fibula.
Instant replays immediately showed the ghastly extent of the injury as Spong was seen to retract the kick, attempt to bear weight on the leg and then collapse backwards to the canvas.
“I did feel some pain right away. I knew something was wrong,” Spong notes as he recalls the moment of impact.
On his impassive endurance of the injury, which has been widely commented upon, Spong only shrugs and explains how pain took a back seat to other emotions. “I was more shocked and pissed off than anything,” he says.
Saki’s reaction to the incident has also been widely commented on. Instead of celebrating his win, the new Glory light heavyweight champion expressed shock and then dismay as he realized the nature of Spong’s injury.
“Saki is a true champion and gentleman. He was humble in victory and very concerned for me. I couldn’t ask for a better competitor, and he deserves to be champ right now,” says Spong.
But the Suriname national and Blackzilian representative says he will be right back in the hunt for the title when he returns to action, whether Saki or another fighter holds it.
“Of course I will,” Spong says. “I believe I am the best in the world so I’ll always be looking for a championship fight.”