Oftentimes when a fighter receives his pink slip from the UFC, he is told to return to the regional circuit and pick up a few wins in order to possibly receive another crack at fighting on the biggest stage in the world.
One fighter who has done exactly that is Columbus resident Dan Spohn (10-4), who moved his record to 2-0 since being cut from the UFC last July. Spohn stopped Marcus Finch (8-9) in the main event at Absolute Cage Fighting 2, which took place in Columbus on Friday night during the annual Arnold Sports Festival.
At first glance, the win could be seen as ho-hum over a fighter with a .500 record, but dig a little deeper and it’s actually a solid piece of work to add to Spohn’s resume. Spohn’s third round TKO stoppage of Finch was the first time that the Cincinnati native had been finished since 2010, when he couldn’t answer the bell for the second round in his third pro fight. Since then, he has face the likes of UFC veterans Luke Zachrich and Chris Dempsey, as well as TUF 19 veteran Josh Clark, and none of them were able to do what Spohn did: finish him.
Now training full time with Scott Sheeley and also Ronin Training Center, Spohn’s career has seen a drastic turnaround since a three-fight losing streak from 2011-2012 that saw him receive his walking papers from Bellator. After an eight-month hiatus from the sport, Spohn picked up two submission victories inside the UVC organization before receiving a slot on The Ultimate Fighter 19.
Spohn immediately made an impression on fight fights around the world as well as UFC brass, as his 10-second knockout over Tyler King was the fastest in the reality show’s history. He then made it to the semifinals, but he dropped a decision to former Ohio State wrestler and fellow castmate Patrick Walsh at the show’s live finale.
Not deterred at all by the loss and receiving his release from the UFC, Spohn immediately jumped back into the cage last November, where he submitted late replacement Michael Cockerham in just 42 seconds. The win over Finch put his official record at 4-1 over his last five fights, with all four wins being finishes.
Still just 30 years old, Spohn’s future looks bright, and another run at the world’s top organization could be on the horizon for him. Also of note is that Spohn weighed just 201 pounds for the fight with Finch, which is four pounds below the 205-pound limit for the light heavyweight division. Some early rumors have him pegged for a potential test run at middleweight, where he would likely be one of the largest fighters in the 185-pound division.