Abel Cullum. Remember that name.
Cullum has been fighting for a long time, but most people would not be able to pick him out of a lineup. Well, unless you have been arrested by him recently. See, the reason you haven’t seen him in the cage the last few years, up until his recent return and two-fight winning streak in the Resurrection Fighting Alliance, is because he took a three-year hiatus from the sport he loves to pursue another dream of his. That dream was to become a police officer.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be a police officer,” Cullum revealed to Combat Press. “In my time off, the opportunity was presented to me, so I took the opportunity to become a police officer. So, some of my time out was spent in the police academy.”
For those that don’t know the name Cullum, here is a little history lesson.
Cullum has the most title defenses in King of the Cage’s flyweight (135-pound) division. He also fought for the EliteXC bantamweight (140-pound) title, in what was a very tight contest against current UFC flyweight competitor Wilson Reis.
Cullum, who recently signed a three-fight deal with the RFA, is quite aware of what comes with a successful run in the promotion.
“Definitely a possible fast track to the UFC is on my mind,” he admitted. “I want to fight the best. This is the bridge to it. RFA is the bridge from here to there.”
In Cullum’s last two fights, he has competed in the bantamweight division, as he has for most of his fight career. With the new deal with the RFA, he will make the move down to the flyweight division.
“I did take a three-year hiatus. The biggest change I noticed coming back is the size of the guys fighting at 135 pounds,” said Cullum. “When I was competing at 135 in 2005, I was a beast. I was big at 135 pounds—at least I thought I was. I have never had an issue with strength. Now, looking at these guys at 135 pounds, these are guys I have seen fight at 145 and 155 pounds, even some at 170 pounds, now dropping to 135 pounds. These guys are tanks.”
As for the reasons for coming back to his fighting career, the 27-year-old Cullum felt he had a little left in the tank and something to prove to himself.
“Life passing me by was what made me want to come back,” he confessed. “I’m not too old yet. I don’t want to get old and live my life regretting leaving the sport so soon. So that was my motivation for coming back: [To] see how far I could have gone and see how far I’m going to go and just keep plugging away with this career.”
There’s also the motivation that comes from his son, Kai Dean. When Cullum speaks about his son, his voice is charged with passion and never ending love. Kai is one of the main factors in Cullum’s effort to try to get to the pinnacle of this sport.
“That’s definitely more motivation there, chasing your dreams,” he explained. “When I am telling him to do what he wants to do and to fulfill his dreams and to chase his dreams and no matter where you are starting from, just keep your eye on where you want to finish—when I am preaching that—I want him to look back and be like, ‘Look, dad, you did it too!’ So, yeah, that is a factor. I want to be a good example for my son.”
Cullum’s multi-fight deal has afforded him the ability to call himself a full-time fighter. However, the man likes to stay busy.
“I kinda started to go a little stir crazy sitting at home, I have to admit,” said Cullum. “I have had a full-time job since I was 13 years old. Taking the time off to focus on fighting full-time was a little tough, so I did make a decision here recently. I will be going back to law enforcement. I’ll be a police officer again, but I’ll be doing it at the same time as fighting.”
So, for fight fans and criminals alike, remember the name Abel Cullum.