At UFC 170, Daniel Cormier stepped into the Octagon against late replacement Patrick Cummins to make a statement at light heavyweight.
Thanks to the verbosity of the latter, Cormier also had the chance to make the most of a sudden bad-blood situation. Cummins told Dana White that he had made Cormier cry in a previous training camp and that he broke him every time they hit the mat.
Obviously, Cormier didn’t like this one bit and suddenly was faced with a moment and a man he had to master.
Everyone thought that regardless of the Cummins talk, Cormier was simply going to be too much for him in all areas. Cormier was the known quantity; Cummins was the unknown jumping in at the last minute in the enviable role of underdog.
Perhaps the only question to be had about Cormier was based on the fact that this was his first fight at light heavyweight. Other than that, no one could really fathom how Cummins, coming in on nine-days notice, could win.
But after all the expectations were lain on the table, Cormier and Cummins came together and brought action to the script so many fans and pundits had been writing since the bout was announced.
What did we learn once the smoke had cleared and Cormier stood victorious was two-fold.
First, we learned that what happens in training is vastly different than a real fight. In truth, we’ve always known this, but Saturday night Cummins paid a heavy price in order to see us reminded of this fact.
Secondly, we learned that Cormier is simply better than most fighters out there and stands as a viable threat at 205.
Yes, Cummins did not have the benefit of a full training camp, and that is a disadvantage that cannot be overlooked. That being said, Cormier is more experienced and looks like he is improving with every outing.
Daniel Cormier did pretty much what I expected. I still believe DC will be the biggest challenge to Jon Jones' title reign #UFC170— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) February 23, 2014
What many thought would be a wrestling match turned into an old-fashioned beatdown as Cormier landed heavy punches with both hands. After eating a hard uppercut, Cummins was hurt, and the end was near.
Cormier closed the show with punches until Mario Yamasaki finally called it all off, and it was not a moment too soon. Cummins simply wasn’t ready for a fighter as well-rounded as Cormier, who ran him over and, in doing so, notched his first victory at light heavyweight.
It was a brutal resolution to an impromptu feud, and while we did not get to see what would have been a better test for Cormier in the person of Rashad Evans, we did get to see the former fight with the passion of his words.
And that was what we wanted.