Cummins, who trains at Reign Training Center, might be seen by the casual fan as nothing more than a punching bag the UFC hired as a late-replacement for the injured Rashad Evans to feed to Cormier at UFC 170, but the UFC head honcho thinks he has a fighting chance to notch the victory.
"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 relatively unknown to the average fan, but hardcore MMA supporters know him as a highly-touted light heavyweight contender and former two-time All-American at Penn State University.
Cormier laughed off Cummins' smack-talking, but he did say he appreciates that he stepped up to accept the fight.
"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 was originally slated to fight Rashad Evans in the UFC 170 co-main, but "Suga" went down with a knee injury.
Cummins stepped in as a late-replacement, after the UFC opted against slotting in Chael Sonnen or Anthony Johnson for the Feb. 22 event.