Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that undefeated heavyweights Ron “The Monster” Sparks (5-0) and Greg Maynard (2-0) will face one another at Bellator 30 this Thursday, Sept. 23, at Fourth Street Live in Louisville, Ky.
MMA fans may remember Sparks was supposed to fight heavyweight boxing champ Ray Mercer at King of the Cage last week but Mercer went missing for a few days and the fight never materialized. Fortunately for Sparks, he was able to get a spot on Bellator 30 which will be taking place in his home town.
ProMMAnow.com has been following Maynard’s career for a couple of years now and he talked to us Monday about the upcoming bout, how it got set up and how he was picked to fight Sparks.
“The fight with Ray Mercer fell through so from what I know Bellator scooped Ron up. Where he was already in fight shape and Bellator coming to his home town I guess it was a perfect fit to get him on this card. I had been trying to set up a local fight through a promoter in western Kentucky. When they signed Ron they called that same promoter and asked if he knew any local heavyweights that would even take the fight on this short notice so he called and I said ABSOLUTELY!”
Maynard, who trains in Logan, W. Va, took this fight on just a few days notice. He talked about what kind of shape he was in.
This is very short notice. I hadn’t been training for any certain fight but I have been working out. I’m a fighter, and every fighter knows you better be ready at all times. Thursday night I’ll be ready!
Sparks ended his first four fights via first round (T)KO. His only fight to go past the first round was against Johnathan Ivey, a wily veteran nearly impossible to finish. Sparks won a four round unanimous decision against Ivey at “RFL: Maximum Impact” in June of last year. That was Sparks’ most recent bout.
Maynard has finished both of his professional fights by submission due to punches in the first round. The first fight, in June of last year, lasted just under two minutes and his most recent fight lasted all of 21 seconds.
Both Maynard and Sparks are big heavyweights, although Sparks is the taller of the two. Maynard talked about his familiarity with Sparks and how he feels they match up.
I know who he is. I know he’s a very big and strong guy. From what I know he really likes to get in there and mix it up on the feet and when he lands a punch it’s just about all she wrote. I’m quite a bit shorter than Ron but I can also end a fight with one punch.
Maynard is very appreciative for this opportunity and made a point to to thank his sponsors who have helped him: Jason Long DDS in Williamson, W. Va., Small Town Tattoos in Pikeville, Ky. and Intimidation Clothing.
Apparently there has been trouble finding heavyweights willing to get in there with the 265 lbs. 6′ ft. 5″ in. Sparks, especially on such short notice, so Maynard deserves a lot of credit for stepping up. Sparks is happy.
“I’m just excited to get back into the ring. Bellator is a huge promotion, and to make my debut in front of all my friends and family just makes it even more special. The fans know I always provide a great show, and this won’t be any different.”
Sparks is known for leaving his opponents unconscious on the mat, but he says he wouldn’t mind showing off some of his ground game in this fight.
“This fight should end with a knockout. Although I wouldn’t mind it going to the ground either. Everyone sees me as a huge stand up fighter, but I have taken my ground game to a whole new level, and I want people to see that.”
Other notable fights included on Thursday’s Bellator 30 card which will air live on FOX Sports Net starting at 7 p.m. CT include Jeremy Horn vs. Bryan Baker, Ed West vs. Jose Vegas, and Jacob McClintock vs. Brent Weedman. ProMMAnow.com will be on hand to provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary.