Spong, the super technical kickboxers was looking to utilize his pinpoint accuracy against DeAnda's scrappy brawling style, and both men had success, but it was clearly Spong who was the better man in a bout that took place entirely on the feet.
"The King of the Ring" paced himself early, patiently looking for openings and sizing DeAnda up as his opponent tried to connect with powerful hooks. DeAnda had some pop in his strikes, but his reach disadvantage played a pretty big part in the outcome.
Despite being the significantly smaller fighter physically, DeAnda did a very good job early of stepping inside and actually popping Spong with some good punches, landing a few flush shots against the talented striker. Spong, of course, played it cool and was always on point with both inside and outside kicks as well as a variety of punches whether it was the occasional jab, or big hooks and crosses to the head and body.
Spong's leg kicks started taking their toll by the end of the second round and DeAnda began noticeably limping, but he never gave up. To his credit, he did a terrific job of playing it cool and acting like the powerful leg kicks from a world class kickboxer weren't doing any damage.
DeAnda hung tough, absorbing a few big shots, but never getting hurt to the point where Spong could pounce with a fight-finishing flurry and was always ready to respond with a counter hook whenever the Blackzilian stayed on the inside for too long.
Tough as he was, DeAnda simply didn't do enough to win the fight, losing a unanimous decision on all three judges' scorecards.
For Angel DeAnda, he deserves some serious credit. Many laughed at him for thinking he could shock the world, and most people didn't expect him to last a minute, but he hung in there, got his licks in and took Spong the full 15 minutes. He was tough as nails out there, eating some heavy punches and some even more powerful leg kicks. Despite the damage taken, he managed to keep pressing forward with big hooks and keeping Spong honest. He even held his own in the clinch. For a fighter getting by on more heart and scrappiness than pure technical skill like his opponent, he did a great job and won several fans in defeat.
For Tyrone Spong, while he got the win, he seemed almost too patient out there at times. His leg kicks were really starting to do some damage, but as Bas Rutten was pointing out, he was throwing too many single strikes especially early on in the fight. Granted he made an adjustment, but by throwing single strikes constantly, he left himself open to counter hooks from DeAnda and actually got clipped a few times. If he'd worked a few more combinations before blasting the leg kicks, they likely would have been much more effective.
That being said, he did a great job of staying on his feet when DeAnda tried to take the fight to the ground in the second round and discouraged him so much he barely tried it again. It'll be interesting to see how well his takedown defense holds up as he faces more seasoned grapplers.
The door is wide open for Spong's next bout, although it would likely be best to continue to develop him slowly rather than throw him into the fire. If Mike Kyle beats Andrei Arlovski, that would be a fun match-up. Other than that, his next opponent probably hasn't been signed yet by the promotion.