Zak Cummings was surprised when he found out he would be fighting Alessio Di Chirico.
Cummings will be returning this Saturday at UFC Vegas 8 after dropping a decision to Omari Akhmedov last September at UFC 242. The hope for Cummings was to make a quick turnaround. Yet, he was turned down a couple of times and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit leaving Cummings not being able to fight in nearly a year.
“After my last fight, I just wanted to get back in there and right the wrong. I thought I had a fight in January but the opponent wouldn’t take it,” Cummings said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “For whatever reason, we got pushed back to April and got a new opponent. I was training pretty consistently and then COVID happened. So, I shut the gym down took a few weeks off, and spent time with my family. Then, that didn’t last long as I was one of the first gyms allowed to re-open and I’ve been trying to get a fight.”
When the UFC was finally able to return, Zak Cummings made it clear he wanted to fight ASAP. He was hoping he would get a ranked opponent or someone just outside the top-15.
So, when he was offered Di Chirico, he admits he was a bit surprised.
“They offered it. I have cornered against him before, but he wasn’t on my radar. I am always looking for the top-15 guys or someone just outside,” he explained. “That is the level I am capable of and those are the guys I want. I was kind of surprised this was the matchup I got. I can’t overlook him as anyone in the UFC is a tough fight. Just take what I can get and fight and perform.”
Entering the fight, Di Chirico is riding a two-fight losing streak so Cummings believes the Italian is fighting for his UFC job. Unfortunately for him, Cummings knows he can’t lose two in a row or he believes his job could be on the line as well.
“I am sure he is just as motivated for this win as I am,” Cummings said. “I don’t do two losses in a row, that is not my style and I am not about to do it now, I don’t want my walking papers. If it comes down to me or him, I’ll be keeping my job.”
In the fight, Zak Cummings is confident he is better everywhere and will get another stoppage win.
“I’ve got a lot of different finishing diversity. I have power in both hands, I can knock you out, or I can find some submissions in scrambles,” Cummings said. “If he is going to stand with me, he does have a good chin, I have to give him credit. I do think I have all the finishing factors in this fight. I don’t see him submitting me or putting me away with strikes. When I land they count. I know I can finish this fight wherever.”
If he does just that, he hopes he can make a quick turnaround and possibly even fight two more times before the year is over.
“If this fight goes the way I think it can go, hopefully, I can turn around in a month or so. Just send me the first opening available. If somehow I can get three in this year, I am in,” Cummings concluded. “I know that will be hard so at minimum two fights this year.”
Who do you think will win, Zak Cummimgs or Alessio Di Chirico?