A day after the UFC decided to pull Cormier from the card following Rashad Evans' knee injury, the promotion has decided to book Cormier vs. newcomer Patrick Cummins as the new co-main event of UFC 170, UFC president Dana White confirmed with MMAFighting.com.
"I heard about this kid Patrick Cummins before," UFC president Dana White told MMAFighting.com. "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."
Cummins (4-0) is considered one of the brightest light-heavyweight prospects in MMA. The former Penn State University two-time All-American and national champion runner-up has finished all of his opponents in the first round. His manager, Ryan Parsons, claims over 50 light heavyweights have turned down fights against him since he went pro in Dec. 2012. He currently trains at the Reign Training Center with the likes of Mark Munoz and Chael Sonnen.
Cummins had been campaigning for the opportunity on Twitter from the moment news of Evans' knee injury broke.
"There's a lot of pressure that comes with trying to win a gold medal," Cormier told MMAFighting.com, "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."
Cormier (13-0) will be making his light heavyweight debut on the card. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter is 2-0 in the UFC, picking up decision wins over Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. He told MMAFighting.com Wednesday night that he was very upset he couldn't fight next week after working hard to make the weight.
"I'm very sad," he said. "It's very sad, because I've worked hard. So if anyone wants to fight, let's fight."
Patrick Cummins has answered that call.
(Editor's note: watch Cummins on a recent episode of The MMA Hour below.)