Despite rumors swirling that UFC 170’s canceled Daniel Cormier vs. Rashad Evans co-main event being moved to UFC 172 after a “Suga” knee injury, it appears that Cormier’s insistence on finding a new opponent for UFC 170 ultimately won out.
According to MMAFighting.com, “DC,” who will be making his light heavyweight debut at UFC 170, will now face newcomer Patrick Cummins in the February 22 card’s co-main event.
While Chael Sonnen was (obviously) considered as a late replacement, Cormier’s former training partner Cummins ended up stepping in. Dana White confirmed the news with some high praise for the very late replacement:
"I heard about this kid Patrick Cummins before. The thing that's interesting about this kid is that he was the training partner of Daniel Cormier and claims that he made Cormier cry when they would train together. Not only did he say that, he said he broke him every time, and he said he would break him again next Saturday.”
Those are some harsh words from a young prospect who just earned the opportunity of a lifetime, but in reality, Cummins knows a lot about how Cormier likes to work. Cummins is a former NCAA standout wrestler at Penn State, twice obtaining All-American status and finishing as national runner-up once.
He’s also one of the brightest light heavyweights prospects in MMA, sitting with an impressive 4-0 record after having finished every one of his fights inside the opening round.
Cummins, who currently trains at longtime UFC middleweight Mark Munoz’s Reign Training Center, apparently began campaigning for the fight immediately after it was announced that “Suga” was out. He got it, but he should be careful what he wishes for, according to Cormier:
"There's a lot of pressure that comes with trying to win a gold medal, something that Pat wouldn't understand since he was only a training partner to me and Kerry McCoy. He wasn't the guy. I appreciate him stepping up and taking the fight, but we're going to see who's going to be crying after we fight next Saturday night."
Strong words from a man who’s in no mood for trash talk after cutting down from around 240 pounds to face former UFC 205-pound champ Evans. Now “DC” is in a lose-lose situation against an unknown but dangerous challenger.
Still, this should be an easy walkover for Cormier, at least on paper. “DC” got the UFC 170 fight he wanted so bad, but is this a suitable co-main event for the night’s headlining Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann women’s bantamweight title fight?
Or should they have just waited to re-book this fight once Evans had healed up?
Photo: Andrew Richardson for USA TODAY Sports