Before making his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut, Patrick Cummins was proving to be a promising up-and-coming prospect, winning his first four mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts in the very first round on the regional circuit.
His undefeated (4-0) record came to a screeching halt when he stepped foot inside the Octagon at UFC 170 earlier this year, getting finished via strikes in the very first round.
But that's what most fight fans expected as "Durkin's" Octagon debut came against one of the best fighters in the game today, Daniel Cormier.
Filling in for an injured Rashad Evans on a few days notice, Cummins lobbied for and received the fight against his former training partner. One he used to make cry. In doing so, he also got his foot in the UFC door, something that usually takes years and years for aspiring MMA fighters to achieve.
As Cummins gets ready to step into the Octagon this weekend (June 7, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, New Mexico for his sophomore effort, he hopes to show fight fans he has more to offer than what he showed in his 79 seconds against "DC."
"Yeah, I'm hopeful of that and I am also very confident that I can go in there with the pressure off and do exactly what I can do," said Cummins during a recent interview on The MMA Hour. "I think if I do half of what I think I can do, I'll be fine."
Indeed, Cummins faced plenty of pressure by taking on one of the best light heavyweights around on the biggest stage of them all. A tough thing to ask of for a man who was a full-time barista prior to getting the call.
Taking the loss to Cormier pretty hard to the point of near depression, Cummins looks to make the best of his second chance inside the Octagon against UFC newcomer, Roger Narvaez, and show off the skills that got the attention of UFC.
"I think people saw glimpses of it, but it was such a short-lived thing and it was unfortunate," said Cummins. "But at the end of the day, I have a chance to compete exactly where I want to and hopefully I'll have another chance to fight Daniel and hopefully contend for the belt. I just need a little time and a little experience and I think with that, I'll start rolling pretty quickly."
From co-headlining a major pay-per-view (PPV) event in his debut with countless media attention, to flying under the radar and competing on the first fight of the UFC Fight Pass prelims, "Durkin" is okay with taking his time and working his way up to the top.
Something that would have been great for the up-and-coming fighter from the jump.