While his 2020 wasn’t quite what light heavyweight Tee Cummins was hoping for, he ended up being busy over the second half of the year, albeit in another sport other than MMA.
Following a win over Herbert Morgan at Bang FC 19 in January of 2020, Cummins’ hear was put on hold due to coronavirus. Luckily, an opportunity to try out bare knuckle fighting came along and he was able to see some action last year.
“I was really motivated after my last MMA fight last January and I anticipated fighting in MMA three or four times last year,” Cummins told MMAWeekly.com. “Shortly after my fight the pandemic happened and everything shut down.
“I got the call last June to fight bare knuckle, which I obviously accepted, so I got back in the gym and started training, and have basically been in fight camp since last June.”
While he initially might have had reservations about bare knuckle fighting, the lure of competition was too much for Cummins to pass up.
“I was hesitant on it at first,” said Cummins. “I just wanted to compete. I’ve watched bare knuckle on TV and follow a lot of the fight, and I just thought I’d try it once and see how I liked it. It gave me something to look forward to, something to go back and train for.
“To me it’s not that much different than MMA as far as distance management, and bare knuckle isn’t too much different than a four ounce gloves.
This Friday in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Cummins (2-0) returns to MMA to take on Anthony Kalani (5-0) in the 205-pound feature bout of LFA 101.
“It’s been a little over a year since I fought MMA, but I’ve been preparing, and once I got the call for the opportunity I was more than excited,” Cummins said. “I’m ready to get in there and test myself.
“I know I’ve put in the work. I know I have the ability. I feel like this is what I’m meant to do. I plan to fight my fight, fighting to the best of my capabilities, and that being my route to victory.”
After having his MMA plans dashed last year, Cummins is more apt to focus on what’s directly in front of him in 2021.
“I do have ambitions to have a huge year like I did last year, but last year I set out to fight three or four times, and I kind of got ahead of myself as far as anticipating what was to come,” said Cummins. “Anything can happen. I try not to look too far ahead.
“I know what I want to achieve long-term in this sport, and this is a huge opportunity to get my name out more, and show what my game is about. But I will try to keep it one fight at a time and stay locked in and focused on what’s ahead of me.”