Daniel Cormier owes us a fight.
The undefeated light heavyweight contender was able to compete in the UFC 170 co-main event last Saturday night (Feb. 22, 2014) in what was clearly a no-win situation. Not just for him (win and you beat a bum, lose and you're a joke), but for fans, as well, who got exactly what they paid for.
One of the world's best fighters knocking around a guy plucked from a coffee shop (replay).
But the injury to Rashad Evans, which caused the last-minute switcheroo, nearly bounced "DC" from the event altogether, which would have cost him $160,000 with a win. So it's no surprise to learn he was begging UFC President Dana White for a last-minute replacement.
Which is why White told reporters at the UFC 170 post-fight press conference (watch it) he had no regrets over the booking.
"He wanted this fight really bad. I don't mean to say this in a disrespectful way to Cummins because I like the kid. But Cormier needed to come out and treat him like that. He needed to do what he did to him. But the question was, could he? The fight was intriguing. These guys had competed together before and wrestled and trained. I wanted to see it. Better than putting it off and not having the fight."
Only for Cormier.
The promotion could have easily postponed the fight and found a more suitable replacement in the next month or two, so it's not like the former heavyweight would have never seen that money. But as a professional athlete, there is more to fighting than just showing up and getting paid.
Especially when you sacrifice months of your life to a training camp and in this case, a drop to a new weight class.
In addition, the onus is on the promoter to hold up his end of the bargain. Cormier did what he was asked to do and was at no fault in this case, so if the opportunity to find a new opponent exists, it's the UFC matchmaker's job to capitalize on it, even if it's not the best-case scenario. Sounds like "DC" owes his fans a fruit basket.
Maybe he can re-gift the one from Patrick Cummins.