This article was published on MMAjunkie.com about Abongo. You can read the full article here.
If you haven’t yet heard of Strikeforce heavyweight Ronald “Abongo” Humphrey (5-0), it’s understandable.
It’s possible you blinked and missed his winning run as a member of Lil Jon and Shonie Carter’s team on the much-maligned BET series, “Iron Ring.” And his 2008 signing with EliteXC just weeks before the company closed up shop certainly didn’t help his visibility.
But if things go as planned for Humphrey, the world will know the name “Abongo” after his April 11 “Shamrock vs. Diaz” bout with Brett Rogers (8-0).
“I just see this as an opportunity for me to showcase my talent and let the world see exactly what skill set I have to offer and to bring to the MMA game,” Humphrey told MMAjunkie.com on a recent media call.
“I’m very excited about the fight. I think it’s going to be an excellent fight. I think that we’re going to give an excellent show, and I think that fans are going to be really surprised and energized by the energy and the excitement that we’re going to bring.”
Humphrey is billed as 12-0 by Strikeforce, but his official record differs depending on who’s discussing it. And while Humphrey’s time on “Iron Ring” may not give him instant credibility, the Atlanta resident is proud of his time on the show.
“My experience on ‘Iron Ring’ was a fascinating one,” Humphrey said. “I think that the idea that (Iron Ring Executive Producer) David Isaacs had about bringing the mainstream (hip-hop) artists and pairing them with MMA was a brilliant idea to try and bring MMA more into the mainstream light.
“I faced some pretty good opponents there. I think that a lot of times in the media, and on the internet, I heard a lot of chatter about how they think a lot of the fighters were blow-over fighters. But I defeated a guy by the name of Jeff Ford (4-3) who just happens to be a world-known competitor in K-1. I beat him, and I beat guy by the name of Carlos Moreno (5-3), who’s also competed in EliteXC. I did pretty good against him. I knocked him out as well.”
While Humphrey has established himself as a devastating striker in recent bouts, he didn’t start his career as a stand-up stylist. When he debuted in South Africa in 2000, Humphrey considered himself a submission ace.
“One of the first things I was really exposed to was the wrestling, the grappling,” Humphrey said. “That’s something that I took a liking to. But once I got a chance to train under some really quality instructors, like Gary Brown – he’s trained people like Rick Roufus, ‘Buster’ Douglas, this guy has trained over 13 world champions – so once I got with a person who really knew what they were doing as far as technique, I actually fell in love with it. It’s been a love affair ever since.
“It just took someone who was a decent and world-qualified instructor to give me some really good pointers, and it took off from there.”
In Rogers, a heavy-handed, aggressive puncher, Humphrey will certainly have a chance to flash his own striking prowess. But “Abongo” knows he’s got plenty of options available to him in the bout.
“Just expect a lot of movement,” Humphrey said. “I like to move. I like to mix it up. I definitely like to stand up and strike, but I’m not new to the ground.
“I train at Unit 2 Fitness here in Atlanta, Ga., along with Gary Brown out of Top of the Line Fitness here, so I’m with some good talent. I think I’m pretty multifaceted, so I have the ability to take it pretty much anywhere.”
Of course, in order to hit the mat “The Grim” will have to get past Humphrey’s powerful strikes, something recent opponent’s haven’t done.
“A lot of the fights I’ve had in the past, they just haven’t gotten past my hands or my legs,” Humphrey said. “So they really haven’t had a chance to see the ground game or the skills there. Hopefully, this fight you guys may get a chance to see that. If not, then it will end with a punch or a kick.”
And if it does, fans might quickly learn the name “Abongo.”