It's been said time waits for no one, but the slow creep of the clock makes nobody as impatient as the hungry man.
Which might be the reason Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Daniel Cormier was so insistent he fight somebody last night (Sat., Feb. 22, 2014) at UFC 170, after his originally scheduled opponent Rashad Evans pulled out with a knee injury.
After all, Cormier is a gourmand who is all too familiar with the sublime pleasure of scarfing down pizza and ice cream in bed. If he's going to give up the food he loves to make the 205-pound light heavyweight limit, well, then somebody's going to have to pay for Cormier's suffering by taking an ass whippin.'
Until "DC's" UFC 170 replacement -- occasional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and full time barista Patrick Cummins -- went and made it personal that is.
Cummins, desperate for something to make the public buy into him as a legitimate opponent for a fighter of Cormier's caliber, turned to heel tactics straight out of the pro wrestling playbook. It was a cagey move on Cummins' part: Attempting to draw interest in the bout by acting like a jerk and mocking Cormier for a past incident where he broke down crying in training. After all, given the disparity in both fighter's resumes, their match-up was DOA as a respectable athletic contest from the word "go."
Why not try to make promotional lemonade out of a lemon of a fight? That's all well and good, but on fight night Cormier provided a reality check for fight fans who had bought Cummins' wolf tickets.
It took the former Olympian little more than one minute to plow through the barista like a tank running roughshod over a lemonade stand. That's less time than it takes to wait for your morning latte at Starbucks.
To watch full Daniel Cormier vs. Patrick Cummins fight video highlights click here.
Now that Cormier vs. Cummins is thankfully behind us, like a disastrous first date with a high strung woman who brought up the possibility of marriage and spent the whole night talking about her ex, it's time for UFC to set up "DC" with a more appropriate dance partner.
After all, the weight cut wasn't the only reason Cormier was so hungry to fight at UFC 170.
Cormier may be a stud athlete with a wrestling pedigree second to none in UFC's light heavyweight division, but he's also less than one month away from his 35th birthday. In contrast, UFC's current 205-pound champion, Jon Jones, is just 26.
While men like Anderson Silva and Randy Couture fought at a high level despite encroaching middle age, no fighter knows when his expatriation date is going to come up. Cormier could wake up one day with his reflexes just a fraction slower than they used to be, or he could land wrong in practice and blow out his knee. "DC" may be hell on wheels right now, but that's no guarantee he will be two years from now.
What's more, at just 26 years old, Jones hasn't even entered his athletic prime. For an athlete that has already been so dominant inside the Octagon, that could mean downright scary things are in store for his opponents in a couple years.
With the above in mind, Cormier's predicament is obvious. If he's is going to face Jones for the belt, it would be best for him to do it sooner rather than later.
It isn't just best for Cormier that he challenges for the light heavyweight title; it's also what's best for UFC. There is a paucity of top contenders at 205 thanks to the champ's iron clad dominance of the division. As a result Cormier vs. Jones is one of the only truly exciting fights available to UFC right now (and let's be honest, nobody here is really giving Glover Teixeira more than a snowball's chance of surviving a July afternoon in Beelzebub's backyard when he faces Jones at UFC 172 in April).
However, Jones may already have an opponent lined up in Alexander Gustafsson (provided Gus can get by Jimi Manuwa at Fight Night 37 on March 8). Given the epic nature of their first encounter at UFC 165, Jones vs. Gustafsson II is probably the most marketable fight in UFC's light heavyweight division at the moment.
It's also probably a good idea to give Cormier at least one legitimate test at 205 pounds before slotting him in a title fight.
To that end, might I suggest a potential title eliminator match?
If Phil Davis beats Anthony Johnson at UFC 172, then UFC should book Davis and Cormier against one another in a No. 1 contender fight. Given their records, whoever wins that match would clearly be first in line for a shot at the belt.
And if Johnson carries the momentum he built up in World Series of Fighting into UFC and starches Davis? Well, in that case, matching up "Rumble" against Cormier is also an interesting bout. If Johnson can get back-to-back "W's" over competition like Davis and Cormier, it would be hard to deny him a title fight, too.
One thing's for certain: Cormier vs. Davis or Cormier vs. Johnson is a damn sight more attractive than Cormier vs. the morning shift manager at Starbucks.