Springfield, Missouri’s middleweight prospect Zak Cummings recently made his Strikeforce debut where he put his perfect 10-0 record on the line against fellow up-and-comer Tim Kennedy. Cummings was handed his first ever loss that night, as part of the Strikeforce Challengers main event. However, the bout gained Cummings a lot of respect and some positive national exposure, showing his toughness and willingness to step up to upper echelon opponents.
Cummings is still a student at Missouri State University, where he’s majoring in exercise and movement science. He hopes to transfer on to physical therapy school once he graduates. Although, with his new found fame he may find time hard to come by as he prepares to help lead Stikeforce’s loaded middleweight division into the new year.Zak trains at the Springfield Fight Club and after a 6-0 amateur record he turned pro. As a professional he has collected seven stoppage victories by TKO or submission, and holds a decision win over UFC veteran Terry Martin. Cummings’ future in the sport is bright, as the well balanced fighter looks toward getting back into the cage in early 2010 to continue is ascent to the top of the rankings.
MMA Spot: Where are you from and why did you get into mixed martial arts?Cummings: Hometown is Springfield, MO. I wrestled all through middle school and high school then attempted to walk onto the Iowa State University wrestling squad, but I injured my knee in high school and wasn’t cleared to wrestle by the doctors. Then I came back to Springfield found Springfield Fight Club, started training MMA, and five months later had my first fight.MMA Spot: Where do you train at and who are your coaches?Cummings: I train at Springfield Fight Club and my coaches are Rick Wyner (BJJ/MMA), Gabe Wouk (BJJ), and Clyde Hicks (boxing/kickboxing).MMA Spot: You recently headlined the Strikeforce Challenger Series event against Tim Kennedy, despite the loss, how was the experience and what are your thoughts on the fight?Cummings: The experience was awesome and it was exciting to be on a card with so many great wrestlers. I was really excited about headlining the card. As for the fight I felt ready for the fight, but I felt rather hesitant in the fight and that led to Tim Kennedy being just a step ahead of me, and you can’t let that happen. Kennedy is one of those guys that is so gifted you have to be on your game or it will be a rough fight. Overall though I learned a lot and I loved it.