The Ultimate Fighter 19 will feature two legends of MMA, Bj Penn and Frankie Edgar, as opposing coaches in the lead up to their trilogy-making fight. This season will feature the best of the middleweight and light-heavyweight crop, and LowKick has the exclusive scoop with one of the cast members just 24 hours before the show is set to air.
The former NAAFS light-heavyweight champion and Bellator veteran Daniel ‘The Dragon’ Spohn stopped by to talk with yours truly about his experience on The Ultimate Fighter 19, how the talent level is rising on the show, and much more. Check it out:
Rory Kernaghan: What can you tell us about the talent level (based on the tryouts) for the upcoming season of TUF 19?
Dan Spohn: From what I’ve experienced during the Ultimate Fighter selection process, the talent level of season 19 is going to be high. The elimination fights will feature quite a few experienced athletes who know what they’re doing in the cage. This is not only going to make great TV, but should give fans the substance they have been hoping for on TUF for years.
Rory Kernaghan: What did you take from the experience of training with them?
Dan Spohn: Just being in their presence at the elimination fight was amazing, and having these two as potential coaches was a huge honor.
Rory Kernaghan: Without giving anything away, what can fans expect from the upcoming season of the famous reality show?
Dan Spohn: Like I said, the talent level of this season should be higher than usual. I believe that the experience level of the athletes, coupled with the fact that these are heavier weight classes that people have been waiting for–this is going to be exciting for the fans.
Rory Kernaghan: How do you think TUF 19 compares to the earlier seasons of the show?
Dan Spohn: Since I’m only cleared to talk about the events leading up to the elimination fights, everyone will just have to tune in to find out how the season goes. 🙂
Rory Kernaghan: What do you think you can offer the world of mixed martial arts that former contestants on the show could not?
Dan Spohn: The fact that I’m a true, traditional martial artist yet at the same time can turn on that killer switch mentally once the cage door closes. What you see is what you get with me–I didn’t put on some fake persona to get myself noticed on TV. I’m extremely proficient at what I do and I think my fighting style is going to be popular with fans. I want to show the world that you can indeed accomplish anything you set your mind to with enough persistence and dedication, and also show people that you don’t have to act like a thug and run your mouth to make it –this is about so much more than that. Many of these guys are the real deal; myself included–and I love that we are giving fans an inside look at the process to becoming a UFC star.
Rory Kernaghan: What are your post-TUF plans? Do you see yourself fighting for a title in the future?
Dan Spohn: My goal is to be the best light-heavyweight in the world, so yes I absolutely plan on not only fighting for the UFC title, but winning it.
Rory Kernaghan: You have competed four times for Bellator Fighting Championships. How do you think they differ from the UFC in terms of size or legitimacy?
Dan Spohn: My experience fighting for Bellator was invaluable to me. They provided me with an opportunity to learn and grow as an athlete and gave me a taste of fighting on a bigger platform. We need legitimate smaller organizations to cultivate fighters early on in their career or help them get back on track. With that being said, I’ve never wavered in the fact that the UFC is where I want to be. It’s been my goal from the beginning. The UFC is the highest level of competition in mixed martial arts and at this time I don’t think any other organization comes close to matching it.
I want to thank LowKickMMA for taking the time to interview me. I really appreciate it and I look forward to entertaining the fans on April 16th. This is going to be a great season! – Dan Spohn (@dragonspohn on Twitter)
You heard it here first, from future superstar Daniel Spohn. We here at LowKick look forward to seeing you rise through the rankings. Check out this awesome highlight of the best of Dan Spohn: