Sparks (right) needed just 83 seconds to knock out Greg Maynard in September (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Undefeated Heavyweight Signs Long-Term Agreement
Bellator Fighting Championships has made official the addition of unbeaten heavyweight Ron Sparks (6-0), who signed a long-term deal with the promotion. The Louisville native made his debut with Bellator during its third season, needing just 83 seconds to knock out the previously undefeated Greg Maynard (3-1).
“With his devastating knockout power, natural strength and athleticism, Ron Sparks is a guy who deserves to compete at the next level of competition,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. “I’m glad to say he will be doing that under the Bellator banner.”
Sparks, who stands a towering 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 265 pounds, originally trained as a boxer and kickboxer before focusing on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu over the past four years. Five of his six career MMA bouts have ended via first round knockout, while four of those wins came in under 90 seconds.
“I want to be like Mike Tyson was in the 1980's,” Sparks said. “I'm coming in there to knock you out, and that's just the way I'm going to come. I'm coming in there to rip your head off. I want to catch them on the chin and be done with them.”
The win over Maynard in September marked the first match for the 36-year-old Sparks since a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Ivey in June of 2009 at Revolution Fight League’s Maximum Impact. He was scheduled to fight Bobby Lashley at Strikeforce: Los Angeles this past June, but Lashley withdrew from the match after sustaining a knee injury during a training session. Sparks has also been slated to fight some other big name heavyweights such as Ray Mercer, Tim Sylvia and Bob Sapp, but all of those opponents pulled out of those fights before they ever happened.
“I've had so many opponents pull out of fights with me in the past,” Sparks commented. “I guess a lot of guys don't want to lose to me, or they feel like I'm that big of a threat. It's frustrating because I have to train almost nine weeks sometimes for fights (to see) these guys just pull out.”
Now that he is officially on board with Bellator, Sparks said that he only has one goal on his mind.
“When that bell rings and I come out, people are going to be like ‘this guy is for real’ because when I come across that cage, I'm going to be throwing hell for a good 15 minutes,” he remarked. “I want the Bellator Heavyweight Title, and I'll be ready to go through hell to get it.”
Cole Konrad (7-0) is the current Bellator Heavyweight Champion after winning its inaugural heavyweight tournament this past season. Bellator will host its second eight-man competition in the weight division later in 2011, with the winner earning a title shot against Conrad.