Zak Cummings says retiring at home in Kansas City was the “perfect” end to his career: “I don’t think I could think of a better way to go out”

By Cole Shelton - April 23, 2023

Zak Cummings figured UFC Kansas City would be his retirement fight and that ended up being the case.

Zak Cummings Ed Herman

Cummings finally made his return to the Octagon last weekend, this after dealing with a bad back injury that left him unable to even pick up his daughter. It was a hard few months for Cummings but he finally was able to return at UFC Kansas City and got a third-round TKO win over Ed Herman. Although Cummings believed he would win, he was surprised by how dominant it was.

“Not to the extent that it was. I thought it would be a little more competitive in the first round than it was,” Cummings said to “I figured I’d start finding my range in the second and still get a second or third-round finish. I wasn’t expecting to feel like I pitched a shutout. My speed played a much bigger role than I thought it was going to.”

Once Cummings got the win, he looked at Marc Montoya – his head coach – and realized it was his time to retire. He was leaning toward retiring before  the fight anyways. But, after he got the win at home, which marked his 10th victory in the UFC and doing so in three different weight classes, he knew he was done.

“I don’t think I could think of a better way to go out or I don’t think I would have made the call. Going into the fight, I knew it could have been my last, and the closer we got to the fight, the better I was feeling and the more fun I was having,” Cummings said. “I had no intentions of laying the gloves down or making it official. I thought about saying goodbye to my hometown crowd and saying that is the final time they see me live and maybe going that route and leaving it open-ended. Not a hardcore full-blown retirement. Everything just seemed perfect, the fight week was smooth, I felt great and my vision in the fight was spot on.

“I felt like I couldn’t miss and I had so much fun. If I would have gotten the first-round finish, I don’t know if I would have done it. But having the three-round battle, getting time in there, and getting a finish, it was a perfect storm, it just made sense,” Cummings added. “I got done and looked up and saw Marc Montoya and looked at him like I can be done, I’m okay with it. I figured I’d know after the fight and it hit me and I think it was the right decision.”

Once he announced his retirement, he picked up his daughter – something he couldn’t do a few months ago – and broke down in tears. Zak Cummings says that only added to the moment of him knowing his time as a professional MMA fighter was over.

“When you saw me pick my daughter up in the cage and the emotions came out, that was everything piled up over the past couple of years. Not only can I pick her up again but I picked her up after doing what I love to do. It meant everything to me. I really can’t even explain how many different ways you can look at that one moment and how much it meant to me,” Cummings concluded.

What id your favorite moment of Zak Cummings’ career?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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