While we haven’t seen massive amounts of UFC stars from Arkansas, the ones we have seen have made their love for “The Natural State” abundantly clear.
Looking at you, Bryce Mitchell.
LFA featherweight AJ Cunningham is also here to let everybody know that he has a bleeding-heart passion for the state that made him who he is. Has he had classic proclamations of his love for his state on the biggest stage in MMA yet like Mitchell?
No, not yet, but at 8-2 with power in his hands and a dangerous ground game, Cunningham is already doing his part to prove anybody wrong who says, “Arkansas ain’t worth a piss.”
We’ve heard some of the most intense passion for his home state from “Thug Nasty,” but Cunningham gives an in-depth explanation as to what’s in the water in Arkansas, and it breaks down to three key factors.
1. The People
“Your car is broke down on the side of the road in Arkansas you’ll have eight people stop and ask you if you need help, if you need a tow truck, if you need to call the cops or what you want to do,” Cunningham explained. “You want the door held for you at any restaurant, you come to Arkansas. You want to get told, ‘yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, ma’am. No, ma’am.’ Come to Arkansas.”
2. Freedom of Choice
“If you give a damn about these mask mandates rather or not, you come to Arkansas,” Cunningham said. “People will leave you alone. You want to wear your mask, that’s fine. You don’t want to wear your mask, that’s fine. It’s just the freedom of it. People are super nice, nicer than anywhere else in the world.”
3. Cost of Living
“The cost of living is second to none, I do believe, except besides Mississippi,” Cunningham said. “I’ve been to many states and nowhere really compares to Arkansas.”
If push came to shove and a blue chip gym from a blue chip state came calling would Cunningham stay loyal to Arkansas or would he be thankful from afar?
His answer is fast and his answer is firm.
“I’d say no,” Cunningham bluntly said. “I’ll stay in the dorm for six weeks and move back to Arkansas when I’m done fighting.
The state may not lead the country in tourism dollars but the MMA community in Arkansas clearly couldn’t speak higher of their home soil if they tried.
Catch the return of AJ Cunningham to UFC FIGHT PASS LIVE at LFA 122. The action starts Friday, January 21 at 6 pm PT, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!