Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ashley Cummins Interview

Photo Credits:
Photos 1,4 and 5: Invicta FC
Photo 2: Hex Linc
Photo 3: Joey Hill

On October 6th Ashley Cummins steps into the Invicta cage for the second time. Cummins will bring her still undefeated record in as she faces Joanne Calderwood. Cummins was regarded by many as the top amateur in the sport and has continued her climb up the rankings as a pro. A well rounded fighter who can stand and bang and is equally skilled on the ground, Ashley Cummins has the potential to put on the stand-out performance at this great all female card.

Q: Last fight you beat Sofia Bagherdai at Invicta, how did you feel about your performance in that fight?
A: I was able to do my game-plan, out-strike her and go for takedowns and win on the ground. I was disappointed in my performance in that I didn't finish the fight. That's how I am, I am real hard on myself. After every fight I am always like "I could have done better". That is a typical response for me. I am disappointed I didn't finish the fight but I am happy I won.

Q: With that card being so big for women's MMA, was there any extra pressure for that fight, not just to win but be impressive?
A: Yeah, I mean that was on my mind, I wanted to do well. I tried not to think about that before the fight. Honestly, I think I thought that way a couple weeks out but as the fight got closer I kind of blocked it out and focused on training hard and doing the best I can. I knew as long as I went in there 110% I was gonna impress someone.

Q: That card was a big deal, how did you feel about the whole experience?
A: It was an amazing opportunity, an amazing promotion. Janet (Martin) and Shannon (Knapp) have done sch a great job advertising. Everything ran smoothly, it was very organized, it was awesome. I went to the last Invicta to support Barb Honchak and again it was awesome. I am looking forward to fighting for them in a few weeks. They do a great job helping women's MMA grow that much more.

Q: You are fighting Joanne Calderwood, what do you know about her?
A: I know that she is well-rounded but is mainly a stand-up fighter.

Q: With her being mostly stand-up, do you prepare more to fight a stand-up fight or train more to take her out of her comfort zone?
A: In every fight I go in the same way no matter who I fight. My camps are always focused on every aspect of MMA. I am always doing Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Muay-Thai, boxing, strength and conditioning the same amount throughout the week. The fact she is more stand-up hasn't changed how I train. I have fought a lot of stand-up fighters, Sofia was mainly stand-up, Stephanie Frausto was mainly stand-up, it doesn't intimidate me, I go in the same way, fight my fight.

Q: As an amateur you were considered by some to be the best, and as a pro, you are still undefeated, does that put a target on your head, people wanting to be the one to knock you off?
A: Yeah I think so. I think a lot of people cant wait to see me lose, and I'm gonna lose. You cant stay perfect forever, I know that day will come eventually. It wont be this fight coming up, but yeah I think I have a target on my head. Especially since I am ranked number nine now, that pissed a lot of people off, I saw some comments about that. I don't control that. I didn't make myself number nine, I don't know how they judge that. So yeah, I think there is a big target on me.

Q: Every experience I have had with you, you always seem really nice, does it bother you when people say stuff like that, especially since they probably don't even know you?
A: It does a little bit but I am an easy going person and just brush it off. I just don't understand people some times, I never talk crap about my opponents, never talk crap about other fighters. I give people respect, even after fights, I am so respectful. I am sure no one notices, but if you see my fights on Youtube, I wont even celebrate, I help my opponents up and talk to them and tell them they did a good job and try and laugh and joke around with them after a fight. Some people celebrate so much and are jumping around, I look at that as a sign of disrespect, your opponent is upset and just lost and I am sure they are like "fuck", I don't even celebrate, I am that respectful towards my opponent, that is just what I do.

Q: You work a really demanding job, is it hard to balance that with training?
A: It's not hard to balance it, I have a set schedule and have it down really well. I work from 9pm to 7am and sleep from 8am till 2pm, get up, eat breakfast and go to the gym from 3pm till 8pm. The only thing that is difficult is I don't get much sleep which really sucks sometimes. I am living on energy drinks right now. I get about five hours of sleep a day, but the days I have off I sleep fifteen hours straight. When I have a fight coming up I take a week to a week and a half off so I can sleep and don't get tired. All three of my pro fights I have worked the midnight schedule and have made it work, so I am sticking in there with it.

Q: You have that experience on a big card like Invicta, can that give you an advantage?
A: You can look at it and say she has an advantage because she doesn't have the pressure since it is in my country, but she has a disadvantage because she has to travel here and might be jet lagged. I think we both have our advantages, but we are both experienced and tough and will put on a great show for everyone.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I'm gonna win.

Q: With everyone who follows women's MMA watching this, is there a part of you that not wants to only win, but also put on that show-stealing prediction and be one of the people everyone is talking about after?
A: Yeah of course, everyone wants that. I get on Facebook and see a lot of girls saying they will be fight of the night, everyone thinks they will have fight of the night. That's a good thing, it shows everyone is going in 110% percent, all there to win and put on a good show and motivated to show the world what we are capable of.

Q: After this, any idea what you want next, keep fighting with Invicta?
A: Of course! Invicta is an amazing promotion and I would love to have more fights with them. I would like to fight locally in St. Louis. I do have friends driving to Kansas City. After this fight I want to focus on getting my Purple Belt in Jiu-Jitsu, it is a goal of mine. Right now I am Blue Belt with two stripes. I wanna compete in tournaments and reach my goal of being a Purple Belt.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I Want to thank my coaches and teammates at St Charles MMA and Vaghi Martial Arts. My strength and conditioning coach, Brian, at Fitzmaurice Performance. My manager, Brett Atchley, at Addison Sports Management. My Sponsors, Fear the Fighter, Fight Chix, Tussle, Klench Guards, VII AD, Polanti Watches, Brawl Base, Real Fight Soap, Apocalypse MMA, and Kids Against Animal Cruelty

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