(Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports)
The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented guy on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
Although viewers will have to get up at 6:30 am this Saturday to watch the preliminary card, we here at The MMA Manifesto feel that is no reason they should not be educated about the fighters providing breakfast entertainment. Our Prelim Breakout Star this week should give plenty of fans a reason to take the early wake up call.
Affiliation – Springfield Fight Club
From – Springfield, Missouri
Height – 6’0”
Weight – 170 lbs (Welterweight)
Record – 16-3 (1-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
Cummings seems to be a throwback to the middle era of the UFC. Backed with solid wrestling, he uses his primary skill to set up finishes in a number of ways. Over the course of his 16 career wins, he boasts a nearly 88% finish rate. This is largely due to his skilled top game, which is a mix of his aforementioned wrestling and his Gracie Jiu Jitsu brown belt; a deadly combination.
When looking back at Cummings’s three losses, you are likely to see a few familiar names. Tim Kennedy, Elvis Mutapic, and Ryan Jimmo are the only ones to snatch a win from his grasp. However, what people fail to recognize when looking at those names is the weight classes. Each are currently at least one weight class above where Cummings currently competes. The match with Jimmo took place at 205 lbs, 35lbs heavier than the match this weekend. Even with this large size discrepancy, Cummings was able to last the entire five rounds with Jimmo, taking him down a number of times. He seems to have not lost any of this durability as he drops down to his more natural weight class.
Why he’s been overlooked
Cummings was a very middle of the line middleweight. He put out good showings against Kennedy, who is a top level middleweight, and Mutapic, who is very solid as well. After only one fight dropping down, fans are still unsure of how legitimate he is at his new class. However, if he continues to bring the same top game and granite chin, he should be difficult for many UFC welterweights.
What makes this a good matchup
Alberto Mina has a very solid jiu jitsu game. He has finished every opponent he’s faced with some very slick submissions and top game. However, he has never really been forced to fight off of his back. While his judo background should be noted, he will likely be forced to fight from his rear end at some point and time. If this is the case, he could be in for a short night.
Daniel Vreeland is a writer and teacher with an avid love for martial arts. He has practiced jiu jitsu and submission grappling under and next to many top names including Royce Gracie, Rousimar Palhares, Murilo Bustamante and Marco Alvan. He has placed in multiple NAGA grappling tournaments and currently trains under black belt Dave Roy in Amherst, MA.