Pat Cummins was signed by the UFC to fight Daniel Cormier in the co-main event at UFC 170. That signing was necessary when Cormier's original opponent, Rashad Evans, was forced to withdraw due to injury. As soon as the ink on Cummins' contract had dried, the two-time All-American wrestler came out firing, making claims that he once made Cormier cry during a training session that occurred while Cormier was preparing to compete in the 2004 Olympics.
For those wondering if the story is true, it is. Well, it's sort of true, if you listen to Cormier's side of the story. Speaking to Shoot Media, Cormier said that after hearing Cummins tell the tale of how he made Cormier cry, Cormier reached out to his coach at the time. According to Cormier, his coach told him that Cummins' recollection was not how the incident in question went down.
"That's not what happened," Cormier said his coach told him. "You guys were simulating the Olympic games, and he beat you." At that point Cormier said that he wanted another shot at Cummins to which his coach responded, "No, you're Olympic games are over, you lost." Cormier said he freaked out when his coach told him that and began crying because in his mind, the loss was Cormier losing at the Olympic games.
Someone that can understand what Cormier went through is 2004 Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann. McMann reached out to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani in the hopes of shedding some light on the incident.
McMann claimed that Cummins was taking far too much credit for the incident, "The coaches are responsible for breaking him, not anybody else," said McMann.
McMann, who will face fellow Olympian Ronda Rousey in the main event of UFC 170 went on to say that wrestling preparation is a lot different than that of other sports. The No. 4 ranked women's bantamweight fighter said that what wrestlers go through during their preparation for the Olympics could be "labeled as sadistic" by those that are not familiar with how wrestling coaches often try to break athletes in order to make them better.
In describing the process, McMann said, "During these practices, we are always down on points. We have people rotating in on us. They are people in our weight class that are eating whatever they want, they're fresh because they get breaks and we don't. They have no pressure on them. It's a little bit ridiculous because these practices are designed to break us. These coaches won't stop until you are flaking out, until you are at your absolute lowest point. That's the way it's been in wrestling forever. To say that he made [Cormier] cry, that's just crazy to me."
One of the most famous quotes regarding wrestling was uttered by 1972 Olympic gold medal wrestler Dan Gable. Gable whose NCAA career record was 181-1 once said, "Once you've wrestled, everything else in life is easy." The torments that Cormier, McMann and many other wrestlers endured inside the practice room are the reason why that statement rings true.