It's been one week since Patrick Cummins raised his hand and said to the UFC, hey if you're serious about keeping Daniel Cormier on the UFC 170 card, I'll be glad to sign a contract to fight him. The UFC desperate to replace the injured Rashad Evans took the 4-0 Cummins up on that offer, and in two days he will face Cormier at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
If Cummins, who has not fought since May 2013 has any butterflies ahead of the fight he's been doing a fine job of hiding them over the last seven days. From his interview last week on Fox Sports 1 to Wednesday's open workouts, Cummins has been nothing short of relaxed and confident.
When asked about taking a fight with only nine days to prepare, Cummins replied, "Overthinking a situation is a big deal, especially in this game. You have what, 8-12 weeks to think about your opponent and overanalyze everything? Nine days is perfect."
If the short preparation time is an advantage, as Cummins intimated, it will not be the only edge Cummins feels he has over Cormier. During his wrestling days, Cummins competed at heavyweight, dropping to light heavyweight when he began his mixed martial arts career. That is the second advantage Cummins feels he will have some Saturday night, "I know what it's like to go from heavyweight down to 205. It's quite an adjustment," Cummins said. "You don't have that horsepower behind you. You kind of have to be a little slicker with what you're doing, you have to really employ that technique. It's going to be a shock to Daniel's system. Yeah, he's dealing with bigger guys, but, he's not going to be as fast anymore, and he's not going to have as much behind what he's doing."
Some would argue that Cummins is so relaxed heading into the biggest fight of his career because not much is expected of him. That's not how Cummins is viewing this fight. He did not volunteer to replace Evans just to get his foot in the door of the UFC. When asked if he viewed the fight as a no-lose situation, Cummins said, "That's not my mindset at all. There's definitely a lose situation. I come in here expecting to get the win, and that's the win I want. No matter how it comes, that's my ultimate goal coming in here. I would have never called out Daniel and said, ‘hey let's have a fight,' if I didn't truly believe that I could win."
Cummins is saying all the right things heading into Saturday's fight, the next test will be putting those words into action and earning one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Can he do it? He sure seems to believe he can.