With two titles and an unblemished record in 12 professional fights, Jeremy Spoon has already established himself as a person of interest on the mixed martial arts scene.
Now it’s time for the Tuttle, Okla., native to turn things up a notch. On Friday, Spoon will square off with Daniel Straus as part of Bellator’s Season 6 featherweight tournament at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind.
“Daniel Straus is definitely the toughest dude I've ever fought,” Spoon said. “That's exactly why I came to Bellator, though -- to fight guys like Daniel Straus. I just want to prove to everyone that I belong in Bellator and that I deserve to be considered one of the best featherweight fighters in the world.”
A finalist in Bellator’s Season 4 featherweight tourney, Straus has triumphed over Chad Hinton, Nazareno Malegarie and Kenny Foster during his time with the Chicago-based promotion. Patricio Freire handed him the only loss in his last 14 fights in the 145-pound final last May.
Three other 145-pound quarterfinal bouts will take place at Bellator 60: Ronnie Mann-Mike Corey, Marlon Sandro-Roberto Vargas and Alexandre Bezerra-Genair da Silva. The tournament champion will eventually receive a title shot against the winner of Friday’s featherweight title clash between Joe Warren and Pat Curran.
A former Bricktown Brawl and King of the Cage titleholder, Spoon recently boosted his stock with five-round triumphs in each promotion, earning a split decision against Donald Sanchez in August and a unanimous nod over Ramiro Hernandez in June. The Apex Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu export then fought his way into Bellator’s Season 6 featherweight bracket by beating Adam Schindler via unanimous decision this past October at Bellator 56.
Spoon avoided the judges in each of his first nine professional fights, winning eight of those contests by submission. As the competition has improved, his fights have gotten longer, with each of his last three bouts going the distance. The former Oklahoma state high school wrestling champion expects more of the same against Straus.
“It would be lovely if I could finish Daniel, but since he's bigger than me, he's going to be harder to finish, especially considering the caliber of fighter that he is,” Spoon said. “Someone that's as big as he is and as good as he is will be hard to finish, so I'm just going to go out there and fight as hard as I can. I’m going to make sure I'm pushing the pace the whole time.”
Spoon expects to rely on his “speed, quickness and technique” to defeat his larger adversary. “Spooner” believes that a victory over Straus -- given the Ohioan’s previous tournament experience -- would be a significant feather in his cap.
“I think Daniel is possibly one of the favorites to win the whole tournament, so if I put on a good showing and get the win, everyone's going to know that they have to watch out for me,” said Spoon. “I want to win this fight convincingly so nobody ever overlooks me in the future.”