By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
It only took Quay County’s Abel Cullum 1:19 mintues to become a King of The Cage contender.
Cullum, a mixed martial arts fighter, is now in line to fight for KOTC bantamweight championship.
To win the championship Cullum would have to fight the titleholder Ryan Diaz of California.
“I always work to be the best at anything I do and winning a title fight shows that you are the best in that division,” Cullum said.
Cullum is a member of Cullum Ground fighting team of Tucumcari and has been fighting out of Tucumcari for the past two years.
Cullum’s victory came on Saturday in Albuquerque when he knocked out Eddie Almenderez in the first round of a KOTC event. Most of Cullum’s knockouts and wins have come in the first round.
“My fastest knock out was in 30 seconds.” Cullum said. “I am really excited with this win and have asked that my title fight be in New Mexico.”
It’s not know when Cullum when fight for the championship, he said.
Cullum’s pursuit of a fighting career requires him to balance his personal life and job. During the week, he has full-time job at Family Vision Center and he trains every night to stay in fighting condition. Cullum said he uses the weekend to unwind if doesn’t have a match.
“On weekdays I work from 8 to 5 then train from 5 to 8 and then I spend the rest of my time with my family watching TV at my grandmother’s house,” Cullum said. “I can usually relax on the weekends. My work has been really supportive of my fighting and has worked around my schedule.”
As well as the satisfaction that comes from winning, Cullum is also paid to fight in his matches.
“Sometimes I receive extra money from the promoters because of how I perform in the cage,” Cullum said. He attributes that to his explosive and exciting fighting style.
“People want to see exciting finishes to fights like a knockout or submission and so do the promoters. A good fight will put more people in the seats. I really don’t see any money from the DVD sales.”
DVD sales of fights are one way that KTOC promotes it fights and earns profits from its matches. Mixed martial arts fights have become a popular venue in sports and attract thousands of fans. Events are also televised on Pay Per View which is another source of revenue.
A King of The Cage event is a mixed martial arts competition and the evolution of combat that pits warrior against warrior in hand-to-hand battles of skill, honor and art, according to the www.kingofthecage.com Web site.
“From Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to wrestling, Muay Thai to boxing, all styles are encouraged. But, in order to consistently win, participants must be well versed in every aspect of the fighting game,” according to the Web site.
In Tucumcari, there have been cage fighting events at the Tucumcari Convention Center and some local businesses support fighters. Cullum’s sponsors include Quality Lube and Tire, Family Vision, Stuckey’s Dairy Queen, Los Vatos Sports Wear and Rock Star Energy Drinks.
“My sponsors have really been great in supporting me,” Cullum said. “Their support and the community’s support are truly appreciated.”