Contender Series: Alton Cunningham Predicts ‘Devastating Finish’ Over Bevon Lewis
This Tuesday’s episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series marks the return of UFC developmental deal product Bevon Lewis (5-0). The JacksonWink team member wowed the UFC brass last season, knocking out the Ultimate Fighter alumnus Elias Urbina in devastating fashion.
The UFC had faith in Lewis, despite him being one of the greener prospects on the inaugural season. Instead of a UFC contract, Lewis received one year’s worth of training benefits from the promotion. This past April, Lewisc competed for the first time since the Contender Series. At LFA 38, Lewis defeated Collin Huckbody via a three-round dominant decision.
When a prospect with such hype steps inside the cage, it attracts a lot of attention and opinions. One man who was not impressed was fellow LFA middleweight Alton Cunningham (5-0). Quite frankly, Cunningham’s opinion is one of the only ones’ that matters.
“I’m not necessarily a fan that they put Collin Huckbody in there to lose,” said Cunningham, honestly, in an interview with MMA Today. “He was put in there to be a filler fight. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with Bevon.”
Cunningham, honest in his assessment, was willing to give Lewis credit where he believed it was due. However, Cunningham believes even Lewis’s upside will only go so far when the two combatants square off.
“He excels at fighting wrestlers,” explained Cunningham. “I think he has a great style that neutralizes wrestlers. I’m not a pure wrestler. I honestly believe with that being said, I’m 110% a nightmare matchup for this kid. If he fights me the same way he fought Collin Huckbody, it’s going to be a different story. It’s going to be a very, very violent night.”
The BoMan & The Barbarian !! Violence is in the air!! 2 weeks out !! #contenderseries #ufcboise #ourshield #thebarbarian #mostviolent #Repost @zakottow with @get_repost ・・・ We Ready! CAN NOT wait to get in there! @altonthebo_man July 10th on #contenderseries, @zakottow July 14th #ufcboise The week that will forever change our lives #beasts #letsdothis #killers #savage #thatsbarbaric #smpvd #puravidabjj #puravidamma #ufc #mma #training #hardwork #mostvoilent #theboman
The well-spoken Wisconsinite takes on Lewis in tomorrow night’s Contender Series co-main event. Cunningham can’t wait to halt Lewis’s momentum and further not only his own name in the process, but his team’s name as well.
“There are a lot of other guys coming,” says Cunningham of his team’s success. “I love it because we push on the mental aspect as well. When you think practice is going to be done, it’s not done. And that’s every single Saturday. The fight is only 15 minutes so I’m more than ready for that fight.”
One of his most successful teammates, UFC welterweight Zak Ottow, has not only served as a great counterpart in sparring, but a mentor to Cunningham as well. Cunningham could not speak higher of the five-fight UFC veteran.
“Even if he wasn’t in the UFC, Zak has so much experience and is so knowledgeable,” said Cunningham. “The fact that he’s a coach as well, he brings a different look and mindset in the gym. He has had an incredible, incredible impact on my career, so I look forward to working with him a lot more.”
Visualization is a big component to Cunningham’s mental conditioning as a professional athlete. Everything that has happened in Cunningham’s career (and everything that will happen, for that matter), he says had been laid out in front of him.
“With my style and how I fight, I’m so visually connected and mentally connected to my career,” explained Cunningham. “I can almost predict what’s going to happen in the future. I have an ability to manifest things that happen in my career. Everything that’s happened in my career I’ve visualized.”
“It’s not just been a dream, it’s been a visual reality,” furthered Cunningham. “There’s a difference. I talk about that a lot — visualizing and visual reality. I knew after my last LFA fight, being at 5-0 and having a lot of finishes, I knew that that Contender Series option was there.”
When the time comes on Tuesday for Cunningham to finally make the walk for his sixth professional fight, his step into the Octagon represents years of hard work. Mentally invested in MMA since the age of 14, Cunningham has shed a lot of blood, sweat, and tears en route to this opportunity. Not to mention the sacrifices he’s made as well — Cunningham even quit his job to focus on mixed martial arts full time.
The 25-year-old is determined to not let a UFC contract pass him by.
“I’m going to end this in very, very violent fashion,” predicted Cunningham. “At some point in this fight, I’m going to clip him so goddamn hard, everything is going to go downhill for him from there. I could see it being a very, very competitive fight, however, I have the ability to finish all of my opponents with all eight limbs.
“My fights speak for themselves, it’s not me being cocky,” continued Cunninhgam. “It’s the absolute truth. I hit these guys, and when I land clean, it doesn’t feel good on these guys. They’re hurt. I’m going to hit him, he’s going to back up, and my confidence is going to build.”
“I’m going to walk through everything that he throws. I’m going to land these freaking bombs that I have in these freaking hands on him. He’s going to drop and I’m going to finish him in devastating fashion. Dana White is going to be handing me that UFC contract.”
“I have a lot of people I want to thank. My girlfriend, Julia Locante, she’s had a big impact on my career and is definitely fully invested in my career. It definitely makes it a lot easier when you’ve got someone on your team. She gets it. I want to thank my team at Carbon World Health. It’s a fitness and medical center. I’ve been their first athlete that they invested in. This has been a long journey and I look forward to paying back these guys by getting this contract, moving forward, and doing bigger things. I’d like to thank my mother for being there for me. I’d like to thank my team, my coaches at Perfect Moves Martial Arts and Pura Vida BJJ & MMA. I’d like to thank 608 Motor Sports for their contributions to my training camp and making sure I’m fully ready to go.” – The Bo Man
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