By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
A Tucumcari mixed-martial artist will have his shot at a King of the Cage title in April.
Abel Cullum, 20, will fight for the KOC bantamweight championship at Albuquerque.
Cullum won his 16th fight Feb. 9 at the Mixed Martial Arts King of the Cage ‘Warlords’ event at the Ute Mountain Casino in Colorado.
He beat (21-6) Zac Jenkins of Indiana, the International Fighting League Midwest champion.
The fight against Jenkins was over in 2:39 seconds in the first round with a rear-naked choke submission hold, Cullum said.
“It was interesting to have a match where the Midwest champion squared off against Southwest championship,” Cullum said. “The southwest came out on top in a dominating fashion.”
Recent posts on the Web site fightmatrix.com rank Cullum 11 in the world in the bantamweight class.
As the number one contender, Cullum will fight the reigning champion Ryan “the Lion” Diaz from Canada.
“He is a great fighter, I have nothing but respect for him,” Cullum said. “I am anxious to see how our fighting styles match up. I would love to bring that title home to New Mexico.”
Cullum, who started fighting two years ago, is the two-time defending Southwest Fury lightweight champion and five-time Desert Xtreme bantamweight champion.
“To win this title would put me as one of the best in the world,” Cullum said. “I have dreamt about winning the title since I was 15 years old. This title means so much and to have the title fight in New Mexico is very special.”
Cullum said he couldn’t have gotten this far without the support of his sponsors, Hamilton Auto Group, Quality Lube and Tire, Los Vatos Sports Wear, K and J Auto, and Rock Star Energy drink, and everybody who believed in him along the way.
Cullum’s fight for the King of the Cage 135-pound bantamweight title will be April 5 at the Isleta Casino in Albuquerque.