Jump to content
TSM Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Failed Bridge

Luke Cummo interview

Recommended Posts



It was in the locker room of The Capitale, New York City, February 2005. Luke Cummo was reading 'Akira' a popular Japanese comic book while waiting for his kickboxing bout. No, Luke doesn¹t read Japanese. Not yet, at least. It was an English version of it but he is obviously interested in some of its culture. His outfit, a costume, which he wears during the entrance, actually designed and manufactured by Luke himself, has got this Ninja theme going. The mask he wears, the one that looks like a ski mask, that's part of his original Ninja costume.


Luke was fighting in a semi known kickboxing show just eight months ago and now he is a regular on national television, and getting ready for the biggest fight of his career - the season finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season Two on Spike TV, November 5th.


Luke made it to the welterweight final and at the same time, during his approximate two months in a reality show, told viewers of this country the story of a man who is different from the others. He eats different, thinks different, sleeps different, on the floor, always facing north. But maybe Luke is not different. Maybe he is just honest with himself. Perhaps just being natural. He does what he believes in. That¹s it. That could be it.


Q: So, briefly, tell us how did you start in this sport? Luke: I started at Ray Longo's, let's say, around 1998, 99 maybe. I just went to school, taking classes. It was all because I was a big fan of Bruce Lee. I wanted to learn Jeet Kune Do. But Ray also is a promoter. He puts on a local event with amateurs and professionals. And after I trained there for two or three years he asked me if I wanted to fight, so I said yeah, and he gave me my first amateur kickboxing bout.


Q: How did your parents feel when you started fighting? Luke: Well, they don't like fighting. (smile) My dad originally wanted me to go to the military then when they realized I wouldn't do that, they wanted me to study hard in school, of course. But now I¹m on TV, so they are pretty happy. (smile) But they still want me to continue my education, definitely.


Q: From what I read in The Ultimate Fighter homepage, you are a Taoist. What exactly is Tao? Luke: If I explain too much then I might reveal how ignorant I am (smile) but I think it's more of a philosophy than religion. And it goes along with the way I eat, and it's also an environmental issue, and it goes with martial arts too. Tao is also hand to hand with a holistic medical mode, I don't really know how to explain it but the way I've been living the past few years as a martial artist, strict dieting and stuff, it seems to all come together.


Q: So it's more like they way of life? Luke: Yes, exactly.


Q: How did this Tao influence your dieting? Luke: Well, first, I think I am a little bit of a scientist because I am biology major. (smile) I believe the theory of evolution is more vital then the theory of creation. Human beings are the way we are now because of eating in a certain way. When you look at the closest relatives in the animal kingdom, the great apes or the monkeys, they eat leaves or berries, you know, the things off the trees all day long and they are still super strong. But human beings, the way they eat, you know, they're processing a lot more foods, like fast foods and all that kinds of bad stuff, but I just keep try to be close to nature, I guess. When I was at that house (in the show) I was making a lot of stews throwing in vegetables, rices, etcŠ


Q: Are you a vegetarian? Luke: No, I do eat meat. I eat a lot of fish, and chicken... red meat once a month maybe. I think, for a fighter, you need to get that animal blood in you, to get you more aggressive. First time I ever had a piece of shark, you know shark steak, I had it for lunch and that night I went back to the gym and I felt I was on some kind of drug or something, I was just an animal. (smile)


Q: For example, chicken. How do you eat it? Luke: Either throw it in a stew, boil it, or sometimes I put a curry powder on it and put it on a barbeque.


Q: What do you usually eat the day before or the day of the fight? Luke: Usually, lots of carbohydrates, brown rice, wild rice, vegetables, maybe fish, well the day of the fight I usually have shrimp, wild rice.


Q: In The Ultimate Fighter, you were doing meditation. How often do you

meditate now? Luke: Well, I think, when I was in that house, there was little distraction, no TV, no radio, so I could only focus on things that would help me get through the show. When I am home I have play station and the other things I do when I should be meditating.. (smile) When I was at the house, I was doing it twice a day, just, like ten minutes at a timeŠ practicing my breathing.


Q: What about now? Luke: Not that often. I wish I did though.


Q: Were you an athlete in high school? Luke: Mmm, no, not really. I played soccer up until high school, and then I tried out for lacrosse. I played lacrosse till junior high, but then in high school, but I kept getting detentions during the tryouts, so I didn¹t get to any of their practices.


Q: Why did you get so many detentions? Luke: Ahh, wise-ing off in the class, making remarks, whatever. (smile) But I changed once I got older and mature.


Q: Were you a wise guy in high school? Luke: I¹m still a bit of a wise ass, maybe. (smile)


Luke is always very quiet. Settled. Very reserved. But it doesn't mean he has no presence. He has got this own zone where no one can step in. An aura, almost reminds you of a mountain hermit or an ascetic monk or Ninja. The secret spy works for Shogun; The killer without words. When he sees a way he keeps coming at you, indeed his nickname 'A Silent Assassin' is perfectly fit, but his career interest after fighting is quite different from being a modern Ninja.


Q: You started as a kick boxer, but now you are more known as a MMA fighter. Are you going to continue your kickboxing career? Luke: Well, I don't see why not. I like kickboxing.


Q: Do you prefer fighting in a kickboxing bout or MMA bout? Luke: Well, to be honest, I like MMA more because in kick boxing, there¹s always going to be somebody bigger and stronger, so Im sure if I continue, I will eventually get beat, knocked out, but in MMA, lot of guys I am going against are wrestlers so I would have an advantage of being a better striker. I just have to defend takedowns, learn jiu-jitsu to defend myself on the ground. Its just better for my game.


Q: Then in terms of your career in MMA, what is your ultimate goal? Luke: Well, I am not thinking too far ahead, I still have my school. My goal right now is to just win the next fight. Taking one step at a time.


Q: You are tall. Do you think about moving up a weight category in the future? Luke: Well, if I get more muscle on me then I might go up but I am 175 so I only have to cut 5 lbs to make it to 170.


Q: You think 170 is your best weight class? Luke: I never wrestled so I don't know too much about cutting weight but in Wrestling the guys at my size would cut down to 155, right? I am OK with 170.


Q: Do you think about life after a fighting career? Luke: I don't know how long I am going to fight.. I don't think I am gonna be Randy Couture's age and still fight.


Q: But it's possible. Luke: Yeah, it's possible.


Q: But do you want to fight that long? Luke: (thinks for a while) No. I still want to get my agriculture degree and eventually settle down with my own firm maybe.


Q: So you want to be a farmer. Luke: Yes.


Q: What do you want to grow? Luke: Well, my main goal is to grow enough so I can live off from it. (smile)


Q: Do you want to be a farmer in this area? Or, perhaps, somewhere else in the world? Luke: When I was looking through a career after college, I found an occupation called plant psychologist and I am pretty sure what they do is to go around to different farms where they are having a crop problem and join them to figure out the problem. This, I can travel to different farms. I would love to make it over to Asia, Europe.


Q: How did you get interested in agriculture? Luke: Well when I was eighteen, I got this really bad throat infection and instead of going to a traditional doctor, taking antibiotics and stuff, I was reading a couple of books on nutrition, basically I healed myself by dieting; the right food. That opened my eyes to the world of holistic medicine. I even read this book about healing internal cancer patients with dieting.


What is his strength? Striking? Yes, obviously, but from what I saw from all of his fights including the one against Josh Koscheck, his biggest weapon has got to be his mind and stamina. Luke doesn't flinch on anything. Its like that champion horse in the paddock that just can¹t be bothered by camera flashes or anything.


Q: You design and make your own outfits to wear for the entrance of the fight, right? Luke: Yes. I have one planned for the next fight. And if I ever get to Japan, I have one planned for that fight also.


Q: You think 'the entrance' is an important entertainment aspect of this sport? Luke: Oh yes. You know, the things about MMA, the rules are so often where a fighter can be creative with his own style, like Genki Sudo, he is very unorthodox and I think 'the entrance' helps me because I create a personality, and I like to show around and in the ring.


Q: Who is your favorite fighter? Luke: Well, Sudo is very entertaining to watch, he is also very good technically, but the person I would like to model after would be Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua because he is so aggressive and he is very good on stand-up. And I also like Remy Bonjasky, his flying knee and all. I like Ernesto Hoost because he is so consistent. I've watched tapes of Ramon Dekker, he is very aggressive.


I found this to be an interesting read so I thought I'd throw it in the folder.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this