Though he has run hot and cold in his nine Ultimate Fighting Championship appearances, Patrick Cummins nevertheless enjoys some job security in the shallow waters of 205 pounds.
Cummins will meet former Ring of Combat champion Gian Villante in a three-round light heavyweight showcase at UFC on Fox 25 this Saturday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The 36-year-old Neil Melanson protégé last competed at UFC 210 on April 8, when he closed the book on a two-fight losing streak with a majority decision over Jan Blachowicz. Cummins has compiled a 5-4 record since arriving in the UFC in February 2014, his losses to Daniel Cormier, Ovince St. Preux, Glover Teixeira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira balanced out by victories over Blachowicz, Rafael Cavalcante, Antonio Carlos Jr., Kyle Kingsbury and Roger Narvaez. He has delivered six of his nine career wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
As he readies himself for a high-stakes clash with Villante, here are five things you might not know about Cummins:
1. He had no big-city beginnings.
Born on Nov. 16, 1980, Cummins hails from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a small town of less than 9,000 people that rests roughly 30 miles north of Philadelphia. It was once the hometown to Oscar Hammerstein II, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame. They were the creative minds behind hit Broadway musicals like “The King and I,” “Oklahoma!” and “The Sound of Music.”
2. Amateur wrestling served as a natural bridge to MMA.
Cummins was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler as a former walk-on at Penn State University, where he was the national runner-up as a senior in 2004. He lost a 6-2 decision to Tommy Rowlands in the national final, where he continued to compete despite suffering what was later diagnosed as an MCL tear in one of his knees. Cummins completed his career at Penn State with a stellar 100-37 record, becoming just the 23rd wrestler in the school’s history to reach the century mark in wins.
3. He has struggled to solve high-level puzzles.
The four men who have beaten Cummins -- Cormier, St. Preux, Teixeira and Nogueira -- have 87 professional victories between them. All four stopped “Durkin” inside two rounds.
4. Takedowns are a weapon of choice.
Cummins is currently tied with Tito Ortiz for fourth on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s all-time list for takedowns among light heavyweights with 33, according to FightMetric. He trails only Rashad Evans (50), Ryan Bader (46) and Jon Jones (36).
5. Early-career dominance seemed to work against him.
Debuting under the Strikeforce flag, Cummins won his first four professional bouts -- they took place between Dec. 4, 2010 and May 18, 2013 -- in a little more than 11 minutes combined. He was so dominant on the regional scene that his handlers reportedly had difficulty finding fights for him.