Road to Venator Kingdom 2: interview with Riccardo Cumani
MMA is not a sport for “old people”. Or not? Riccardo “Kobra” Cumani (5-3 MMA), 39 years old, is the living demonstration that it is never too late to be competitive inside the cage, so as to earn another night of potential glory at Venator FC, on the occasion of Venator Kingdom 2. Ashley Rosi will be involved in his path at the Teatro Principe in Milan.
Before the gala on December 16th, MMA TODAY had the opportunity to exchange a few words with the kickboxing veteran, successfully lent to Mixed Martial Arts.
MMA TODAY: This will be your second match in Venator. What did you think of this promotion in terms of professionalism and spectacularity?
Riccardo Cumani: Yes, first of all I wanted to thank president Frank and matchmaker Alex for inserting me into the card. I think that now Venator for MMA is the top in Italy and above… This question leads me to remember little episodes: in a period where I was preparing a match (then cancelled) in the US, at the gym UFC and Bellator fighters spoke of Venator with curiosity… After a while, I received the first call from Alex to make the match against Baneschi. The level of professionalism is very high, melt together with the passion of those who work in it.
MT: Your opponent will fight for the first time at bantamweight. Do you think it could be a disadvantage for you to face an athlete who fought in a higher weight class?
RC:I have known Ashley as a fighter for a while, we have crossed each other at many events, I think it is definitely a disadvantage for me to face a much heavier athlete, it means having to waste twice the energy, given the fact that I could go down a weight class lower than the current one.
MT: How did you make the decision to switch from kickboxing to MMA? What is the main mental difference between a MMA match and a kickboxing one?
RC: My passage was a bit conflictive, the decision came up after a trip to the US, I thought about it as a new sport where I could reinvent myself. The mental approach is always the same but one of the substantial differences is the unpredictable factor of what the opponent wants to do. The comparison that comes to my mind is like dealing with checkers (K1, kick, boxing) and chess (MMA), this should make the whole thing pretty clear.
MT: Having competed in both disciplines, which is the one that stimulates you the most?
RC: I’m often asked aboot it, I reply with a such metaphor. When you are an adolescent, you like to go around by bike and by public transport, until you reach the age of the motor-scooter. While riding this one, you taste the first sensations that you had never tried before and think you have reached your “independence”. Until you get to the age of the car, feeling such freedom to do so, so strong that it makes the whole past look like only a distant transition. Sometimes it’s nice to ride a bike but I prefer to ride in a super car!
MT: Despite your background, you have distinguished yourself in MMA with your ability to apply winning submissions: how did you manage to become so efficient in this area of sport?
RC: Well, my first background comes at the age of 5 with judo, continuing with other martial arts until the age of 16, when I started with combat sports. In 2009, a year of transition, I was training in both. Being unable to express myself in both, I decided to completely abandon kickboxing and launch myself into MMA, going around the world in the best teams according to my evaluation, in order to learn a constantly evolving sport.
MT: In September you turned 39. How much do you think your career can continue and, above all, what are your goals for the future?
RC: No, excuse me, how old am I? 29 years old! Yes, unfortunately my career in sport is coming to the end. With such “high” age, times of recovery from injuries and stress change, despite my life has always been characterized by so much sacrifice and determination. Nowadays, in order to keep being competitive, I have to train more than the young guns do. Surely my goal is to win the next match, even if I would be disappointed in removing a positive step to the career of my opponent. However, probably I am the underdog! My advantage is that in this situation I have only to gain, because if I lose it is normal because I am at the end of my career, if I win it’s because I am a veteran… it doesn’t change much for my career , I will never go to the UFC anyway. In my near future I will continue to learn and evolve on a technical level, becoming exclusively a coach in order to stay in this environment and make people passionate about my MMA.