UFC 170: Newcomer Pat Cummins Says It’s Time to “Realize The Second” Part of MMA Dream
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although UFC 170 recently lost an all-star bout between Daniel Cormier and Rashad Evans, it certainly hasn’t taken long for the latter’s replacement, Pat Cummins, to create some serious buzz about his Octagon debut. Not long ago, ninety nine percent of MMA fans would have been hard pressed to tell you who Pat Cummins even was. But after claiming that he made Cormier cry when they were training partners, Cummins has grabbed hold of a spotlight that was no where near him two weeks ago.
Case in point, if you were to judge who’s fighting in Saturday’s headliner based off who fielded the most questions at today’s press conference, you might think it was Cormier and Cummins. Earlier in the week Cummins certainly didn’t seem out of his element when he was interviewed by FOX Sports Live, and that continued today in Las Vegas.
“I don’t know. You guys tell me? How am I doing? I think I’m doing okay,” said Cummins, while discussing the pressure that comes with being in the UFC and competing in a co-headliner. “This is no different than getting up and competing at the level I’ve competed at in wrestling, and I competed in Strikeforce, a big show in Strikeforce. I feel like I’ve been there and I’m ready to step right in.”
Of course, the opportunity to step right in came just days ago, after Evans was forced to withdraw from UFC 170 due to a knee injury. The UFC and Dana White came calling while Cummins was busy working at a coffee shop, not the gym.
“This is definitely a surreal experience, but it’s something that I’ve been working towards for four years now. I think that what some people overlook is that yeah, this guy was just working in a coffee shop, and they pulled him off the street, and now he’s fighting,” said Cummins (4-0), who has trained at renowned facilities like Reign MMA. “I got my job at 3:30 in the morning to 9:30 in the morning, so that I could make it to training at 10 o’clock. I could take a nap, do whatever I had to do, and train again at night, all for this.”
“All for this dream; of making it here and coming and competing with the best guys and beat them,” Cummins furthered. “So, it’s great that the first part of my dream is realized, and now I’m ready to go realize the second.”
After Cummins took the bout, it didn’t take long for the news to surface that he lost his job at the coffee shop as a result.
“There’s no hard feelings there. I understand what they’re doing. Like I said, I was at the end of my rope, I couldn’t pay my bills, and this was the only job that fit my schedule…they helped me out you know? For about a month they gave me a job and I’m grateful for that, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I’d probably be on the street.”
Cummins made his pro MMA debut back in 2010, and while fighting under the Strikeforce banner, he stopped Terrell Brown in the opening round. While one might think that his wrestling resume and Strikeforce win would have led to a busy fight schedule, Cummins has only fought three times since.
“That’s a story in itself,” said Cummins, when asked why he hasn’t fought more often. “We’ve been searching for fights for a long, long time, and it seemed like nobody wanted to step up. We’ve had about forty, fifty fights fall through on us.”
UFC 170 will be hosted by the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, and will feature bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey taking on Sarah McMann in the main event.