Daniel Cormier: Cummins’ Pre-Fight Talk Had No Effect on UFC 170 Performance

By Mike Whitman Feb 23, 2014
Daniel Cormier took care of business Saturday night in Las Vegas. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Patrick Cummins may have ruffled Daniel Cormier’s feathers ahead of their short-notice showdown at UFC 170, but the Olympian nevertheless put forth a calm, efficient and dominant performance on fight night.

A former wrestling partner of Cormier’s, Cummins made waves just over a week ago when he answered the call to replace an injured Rashad Evans, claiming on Fox Sports Live that he had once made Cormier cry during a training session. The comment appeared to get under Cormier’s skin, so much so that the typically reserved ex-heavyweight even shoved Cummins at the pre-fight press conference.

The buildup was not indicative of the quality of the actual fight, however, as Cormier quickly steamrolled his comparatively inexperienced foe. Despite the perceived bad blood ahead of the matchup, Cormier revealed after the fight that what took place in the Octagon was not fueled by anger or emotion.

“When you start hearing things about what happened in the wrestling room... I like to keep that stuff personal. I was going through a lot of things at the time,” Cormier said following his win at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

“It did upset me, but once I get into the cage, my emotion doesn’t drive me. I fight how I’m going to fight, regardless. He can make me mad, and we can fuss at the press conference, but I’ll never let that carry me in the cage. By the time I got to the Octagon, I was fine. He could have been anyone else, and nothing would have changed. I would have competed the same exact way that I did.”

Cormier rocked Cummins with a short right uppercut and then swarmed him with a flurry of punches, knocking his foe to the mat before sealing the deal with more strikes to the head of his prone opponent.

“The thing I took from the fight more than anything was that my power carries me a lot further than it did at heavyweight,” said Cormier. “The same uppercut that I hurt Patrick with the first time [I threw it], I landed it on [Frank] Mir probably 15 times. I did it against [Roy] Nelson and Josh Barnett, and those guys kind of just ate them, but it visibly affected [Cummins] tonight. I think my power is going to carry me a lot further in this division, because I’m not as small compared to the guys I’m fighting.”

With a successful light heavyweight debut now under his belt, Cormier plans to stay focused as the division’s top 10 shakes out over the next several months.

“Whether I’m fighting or not, I can’t get so far away from my weight that I have to restart this whole process. I’m going to stay as close as I need to be,” said Cormier. “I would like to fight again, but it seems like everybody is tied up. I guess I’ll just stay ready, and if someone gets injured, they can give me a call. I’ll fight anytime.”


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