Following five grueling rounds, the bout was announced a majority draw, thus neither fighter could claim the Super Fight League America welterweight title that was on the line, much to Cunningham’s dismay.
“It was a really close match-up and I can’t say I agree with the decision, but there’s nothing I can do about it now,” Cunningham told MMAWeekly.com. “It was hands down my toughest fight. It was a 25-minute brawl. It took me a while to recover from that one.
“I thought I did enough to win the fight, but that’s my fault for not finishing him. Until he taps or goes to sleep, there are no guarantees. I think the worst thing about a majority draw was 25 minutes of fighting for kind of nothing. We both walked away with nothing.”
Cunningham feels he’s learned from the experience and after seven months away from fighting, he’s much improved.
“I don’t want to be known as just one thing,” said Cunningham. “I want to be good at everything and that’s what I’d like to showcase. A well-rounded fighter has a longer career and can be successful in different areas.
“You don’t want to be the same fighter after a fight – you want to be better – and I think I am a better fighter since my last fight.”
Cunningham (3-0-1) will look to pick up his first win of the year when he faces off against Mike Dubois (4-1) for the Super Fight League America 170-pound title this Saturday night in Tacoma, Wash.
“I think it’s a tough fight,” Cunningham said of facing Dubois. “I don’t expect anything less than that. I know he hits hard, but don’t particularly know where his ground game is at, so I expect on testing him everywhere and try to find some holes to exploit.
“It’s another title fight, so I have to expect to go another hard 25 minutes. If I finish him in less time than that, it’s a bonus, but until then I’m expecting a really tough war. I’m sure we’re going to test each other’s limits.”
Cunningham knows he’s still new to MMA, so while a title will be a big step forward for him, he knows he still has a ways to go to where he wants to be.
“I don’t know if it’s a huge step, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Cunningham. “I’ve got to do my time in the trenches, keep fighting. and build the best record I can against the best guys I can. All I can really do is let my record and style speak for itself, and if people like it, hopefully I’ll get more opportunities.”