Zak Cummings and Anthony Smith are pushing each other to the limit ahead of their respective fights at UFC Vegas 8.
Cummings will meet Alessio Di Chirico on an undercard headlined by the former's training partner Smith. Cummings caught up with Fightful and dished on how the training atmosphere changes when two guys are preparing for the same event.
"We're always going to have that natural competitiveness. We're going to build and feed off each other and get the better of each other. We keep each other safe but we're always going to have that push," Cummings shared. "Now when we're fighting on the same card, we're both trying to peak at the same time. That competitive edge is a little bit more," Cummings shared. "We get that little extra push and preparation while we're both building it together."
Cummings has bene a respectable presence in the welterweight divison for seven years now but he always falls short just shy of a major breakthrough. His 8-4 run in the UFC features losses to top calibre fighters Omari Akhmedov, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Gunnar Nelson.
"I just gotta win. I get right there and for whatever reason..." he paused. "I wish I could say have a mental block but it's just that things happen. I've just come up a little short. I can admit that I looked over Ponzinibbio. I should have done more research. I assumed I would be able to take him down at will."
Speaking of Omari, Cummings shared his thoughts on Akhmedov's recent fight against former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
"I'm happy that Weidman dug deep and found a way to win. He's really the better wrestler. He went out and controlled and looked good in the first round. He took round two off but Omari is very good at timing," Cummings analyzed. "Weidman looked tired and gassed but he dug deep and won. It didn't look pretty at all but he got into the win column. I think he has a long way to go before he's competing with top five guys in the world... I'm happy that he dug deep and pulled the dog out to win but I don't think it was overly impressive."
Cumings fights Di Chirico at UFC Vegas 8 on Saturday, August 29 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will be headlined by Smith vs. Aleksandar Rakic. Keep up with Fightful for all your fight night coverage.