Top-prospect Patrick Cummins steps in to fight Daniel Cormier at UFC 170

Less than 24 hours after an injury knocked Rashad Evans out of the UFC 170 co-main event, top prospect and former Penn State wrestler Patrick 'Durkin' Cummins has stepped in to face Daniel Cormier in Las Vegas.

MEHDI GHASEMI/AFP/Getty Images

Less than 24 hours after UFC 170 lost its co-main event, Daniel Cormier is back on the card facing late replacement and newcomer Patrick ‘Durkin’ Cummins, who steps in to take the fight on just one week’s notice.

UFC officials announced the fight on Thursday following Cummins’ very public campaign to land the fight on Twitter as soon as Cormier’s original opponent Rashad Evans dropped out of the bout due to injury.  

Cummins (4-0) has been considered a top prospect in MMA for some time now, mostly due to his wrestling pedigree and word of mouth about the fighter from his training partners including UFC middleweight Mark Munoz and heavyweight Brendan Schaub, who both train with him at the Reign Training Center in California.

A former walk-on wrestler at Penn State, Cummins took on some of the top names in the nation during his time in college including Ohio State legend Tommy Rowlands as well as current heavyweight prospect Steve Mocco.

Now Cummins will get the opportunity to earn his UFC stripes the hard way as he steps in to face one of the top fighters in the promotion as Cormier makes his debut at 205 pounds after a very successful career at heavyweight.

Cummins has been gunning for a shot in the UFC for some time now, and has been itching to prove himself for the past couple of years where it’s been tougher and tougher for the former Penn State wrestler to find opponents.

"I feel like this is my prime and I have a window that I can compete in, and I’m anxious to get there," Cummins said in an interview last year.  "I don’t want to bash any of the guys I’ve fought, but those guys are the quality opponents that the UFC is looking for. It’s tough. I think they have to recognize me at some point.

"I know what’s out there in the 205-pound division. On a daily basis we look at the roster, and I like my chances a lot."