After suffering through a streak that saw her lose four straight bouts including her lone match on The Ultimate Fighter 23, Ashley Cummins made the decision to drop down from 115-pounds and has since rebounded with a win at Bellator 157 last June.
While initially Cummins believes she could have made 105-pounds, the decision was made for her first bout out of 115-pounds to be a catchweight fight, and it definitely paid off, as she picked up a second round submission win over prospect Nicole Smith.
“After my last loss I said to myself that I’d never fight at 115-pounds ever again,” Cummins told MMAWeekly.com. “My Bellator fight was a catchweight of 110-pounds. I only cut three pounds to make 108-pounds, so I knew I could make 105-pounds.
“That (Smith) fight I felt a lot faster and stronger. It was nice for a change for the first time to fight someone my own size. I definitely felt the difference at the lower weight and I knew this is where I belong and the weight class I should have been at years ago.”
While Cummins initially had reservations about trying out for TUF 23, she managed to make onto a single episode of the show, which in turn has given her some boost in notoriety.
“I didn’t think I had a lot of chance of getting picked,” said Cummins. “My manager at the time thought I should do it, and then I talked to my coaches and my coaches were really excited for it and wanted me to try out.
“Unfortunately I didn’t get the win (against Lanchana Green), so I was only on one episode. Being on that one episode maybe got me a little bit of recognition. Obviously I don’t think the impact was that match since I was only on one episode.”
“I think Amber is one of the top atomweights for Invicta,” Cummins said. “I think she is very good. She’s very well-rounded and is good everywhere. I’m expecting a tough fight, but that’s what I’ve prepared for.
“I feel more than ready for this fight. I’m ready for a war. I think I have a good game plan going into this fight and am expecting my hand to get raised at the end of the night.”
In a new weight class where she feels she can make headway, Cummins is looking forward to big things with Invicta in 2017.
“Right now the goal is winning this fight and then climb the atomweight rankings and one day fight for the Invicta 105-pound belt,” said Cummins. “It doesn’t matter when it happens.
“I think at 105lbs, I’m one of the best in the world. I don’t think there’s a 105lber that can beat me. It doesn’t matter when it happens, but eventually I’m going to be fighting for that Invicta belt.”