Sports Strength

Meet Jerald Spohn, the Emerging Fighter With a Unique Mind

Listen, let’s be real for a second. 

If you want to fight, you’re probably different from most people. 

Fighting comes with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and by the nature of the sport, you need to be willing to take risks. 

So what draws fighters to the sport? Is it the highs? Is it the thrill of the lows? 

For MMA up and comer Jerald Spohn, it is both. 

“I think it is the upside. I’ve always been a go-big or go-home kind of guy. Even in football, I was allowed to call audibles as a WR, and I would do it if I could beat the man… even if it failed, I would get my ass ripped. I’m willing to bet on myself on anything and everything,” Spohn says to ONE37pm. 

I could tell you that Spohn trains at the infamous Strong Style gym with one of the GOATs Stipe Miocic.

I could tell you that he has an abundance of nicknames that we workshopped and some of his teammates call him “the Ginger Riff Raff and the Neon Don.” (I am pushing hard for “The Albino Rhino.”)

I could tell to you that Spohn is a deep thinker who understands life at a very worldly level.

But fight fans generally want one thing: someone who will bring a fight. 

Bo Templin: What stands out when you fight?

Spohn: It is chaos man. I come forward. I pride myself on being a well-rounded but creative fighter from walkout to after. I look at this as a big party.

Templin: OK, so how do you balance entertainment and effectiveness? How do you know when to say “fuck it” sometimes… and know when to dial it in? 

Spohn: I probably lean towards the “fuck it” side. If this is a fight to get to a title, I might be more cautious. But who knows… maybe I hop into character for each fight. I have had an idea for doing an “old” movie theme for each walkout. Ace Ventura, for one, Wesley Snipes as Blade, or Zoolander, and it would be a fun wrinkle to what I do. The way I look at it is, the fighting is why I am here. But why not have a blast? I can’t control things, but for as much as I can control, why not be exactly how I want it?

“The Neon Don” bases his MMA with wrestling. It is how he got started and he knows it is his bread and butter. But he can’t just look to one person as his model. He is trying to take a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, to make his own secret recipe. 

“I always wanted to fight. I wrestled for wrestling… but as soon as I started doing MMA—I realized my wrestling is phenomenal for MMA. My wrestling caters to MMA, it is a high-paced, unorthodox, scrambling type. A lot of movement and positions. I only have split seconds to secure something. I don’t need perfection…I wanted to wrestle like Ben Askren but fight like GSP. I want to add a few more elements, but I love his approach to his sport,” Spohn elaborates.

We continued to talk about the early days of his career for awhile. 

Spohn: I came into MMA, not just wanting to be the wrestler who only wrestles. So I spent my first few months only doing boxing and kickboxing. I took two boxing matches before MMA. The balance for me is I try to seek out things I don’t understand. 

Templin: How do you remember boxing? 

Spohn: I just remember it being different from wrestling. You could win spectacularly and still get injured. Once you accept that death is inevitable… then you stop worrying about it. It will happen at some point… whether in the cage or 28 years. I carry that mentality in my everyday life… I’ve had many deaths in my life. You aren’t guaranteed shit. I wake up every day, and I say, “what can I get out of today?”

Spohn knows what he wants, and he knows the cost. He sees what it takes to accomplish his goals, and he intends and grabbing them, and even in defeat, he will take something away from the day. He is just that kind of guy.

Spohn fights on May 28th. If you like bright minds, a unique perspective on life, and a chaotic entertaining fighter, tune into the UFC fight pass and watch Spohn go to work.

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