Preparation is key. And Russ McCumber is more than prepared.
Training out of one of Canada’s top facilities in Zuma Martial Arts, McCumber, 28, is put through the ringer on a daily basis.
With the level of training partners he works with and the top-tier coaches he learns under, McCumber said he’s more than ready for fight night.
“There’s nothing but savages at Zuma. I’m getting my ass beat by people there every day. Any time you feel like you’re getting better or doing good, there are people there that’ll make you humble,” said McCumber in an interview with MMA Empire.
“Obviously it helps to have a powerhouse of coaches like Sarah Kaufman and Adam Zugec overseeing everything. It’s more of an honour to train with Sarah. Ever since meeting and training with her, I’ve noticed my game improving leaps and bounds.”
McCumber was originally slated to face CJ Strongheart in Friday night’s main event before Strongheart was forced out of action less than two weeks ago.
But despite the late swap in opponents, McCumber said nothing changed as far as his preparation and focus was concerned.
“I’m still going to stick the the original plan we had. Basically, I just feel like I’m ready to fight anyone at this point,” said McCumber.
“It doesn’t really matter who’s in front of me, it’s still the same goal.”
McCumber’s last time in the cage was at the 2019 Canadian National Amateur Championships, a razor thin split decision loss to the eventual gold medal winner, Andrew Mavridis.
While the loss was hard to swallow, McCumber said one of the most important takeaways he had from that night was the reemphasis of the importance of finishing fights.
“Every once in awhile I’ll watch that video just to remind myself you have to do more than you think to show you’re trying to get that finish,” said McCumber.
“I definitely see a lot of stuff I could’ve done better in that fight, but I still feel I did enough in that fight to win.”
McCumber is no stranger to finishing fights, with three of his five wins coming before the final bell.
And with where he feels his game is at heading into fight night, McCumber said he envisions adding a fourth finish to the resume.
“I just see myself getting the finish in the later rounds, whether it be TKO or submission,” said McCumber.
“I definitely feel really confident in my hands, and very confident in my takedown defence and my condition, so I’ll be looking to get a finish.”
“I’d like to give a big shoutout to my sponsor (B.C. Regional Council of Carpenters), all my teammates at Zuma (Sarah Kaufman, Blake McVittie, Oren Hanscomb, Dave Cull), the entire Zuma family, and my best friend Stuart Corkery for being a big supporter and inspiring me to get back into fighting.” Follow McCumber on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM