History has a way of rewriting (or just not including) the fine print sometimes.
For example, you remember the story of Patrick Cummins. You know, that barista from California. The guy Daniel Cormier knocked silly in just 79 seconds at UFC 170 in February, teaching him a lesson about wrestling room etiquette in the process.
Chances are, you remember that fight being a blowout. A pure drubbing. Two hits: Cormier hits Cummins and Cummins hits the floor.
And that recollection isn’t necessarily inaccurate, but it omits the fine print. It ignores the outside leg kick Cummins started the fight with. Then a jab. Then a slip of a Cormier right hand into a counter jab. Body kick.
Small victories for sure. Barely enough to get Cormier’s attention. But for maybe 30 seconds, the barista was doing pretty well, actually -- better than anyone expected.
Cummins (4-1) remembers thinking as much in the cage. While he was still fighting. That was the beginning of the end.
“I look back at that fight and for the first 45 seconds, my game plan was on point,” Cummins told ESPN.com. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m winning this fight.’ I think the fact I was saying that to myself was not a good thing.
“I think the only person in the world that could have said this to me was one of my best buddies -- right after the fight he was like, ‘Dude, what the hell? You were doing fine. You were kicking, boxing and then you started to wrestle the Olympic wrestler. I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know. I lost my head.’”
To be clear, Cummins was a long, long road away from claiming a victory at UFC 170 in Las Vegas -- but sometimes there is useful information in the fine print.
Cummins realizes at this point in his career, he’s the trash-talking barista who didn’t last a round with a real light heavyweight. He’s confident though, that’s not how he’ll eventually be remembered.
The 205-pound Cummins spoke to ESPN.com about that and his upcoming fight on Saturday against Roger Narvaez at a UFC Fight Night event in Albuquerque, N.M.
ESPN: Were you able to take away anything positive from your UFC debut?
Cummins: Initially, I would have told you I didn’t learn a thing from that experience. It sucked. But that comes from the fact I never really thought I could lose a fight. The thought never entered my head. When it happened, it was tough to deal with. I took probably a month -- just kind of chilled. It took about that long to get head in order.
ESPN: Why do you think you started to wrestle Cormier so early in that fight, when it wasn’t in the game plan?
Cummins: I never had to deal with haters before. It’s always been people being behind you 100 percent and believing in you. Even for the people that didn’t believe in you, I never had to hear that guy before. I never heard his voice. That’s definitely part of it. It’s not that I didn’t expect to win, I just felt like everything I wanted to do was happening and it felt awkward.
ESPN: You had a limited amount of time to hype a fight. You said some things. Are you bothered by the perception fans might have of you because of that?
Cummins: At the end of the day, the most important thing is I’m in the club. I can work from here and reach my goals. Outside of the UFC, I can’t do that. I thought that all the negative attention wouldn’t bother me, but it did end up bothering me a little. I think if anyone looks back on that and says, ‘I can’t believe you said that’ -- it’s just an uneducated point of view. You’ve got eight days to promote a fight. You do what you have to do. Under different circumstances, I might not have said those things. I didn’t want to come off that way, but that’s the business and if you understand that, then your opinion doesn’t really matter anyway.
ESPN: You signed the entry-level UFC contract, which meant that when the Nevada State Athletic Commission released your fight purse, it was $8,000. Did you feel like you were well compensated for taking that kind of fight?
Cummins: I went from making minimum wage to an $8,000 payday. That’s quite a bit. [With] The UFC, as far as I’m concerned, my bonus is the opportunity to fight again. I didn’t expect anything else from them. I didn’t expect any kind of bonus, especially for that kind of performance. I want to earn that. They took care of me.
ESPN: Bottom line, when you look back on it someday, will you feel positive about your UFC debut?
Cummins:This is really the beginning of my story. The fact it happened in such a unique way, even though it had some negative tied to it, I'll always look back on it and say, 'I love my story.' It's more about what happens in the end that I'm concerned with. I'm sure I'll have another crack at Daniel at some point. I'm planning on that.
ESPN: You mentioned on Twitter you’re excited about your first training camp. You mean, this is your first real training camp ever?
Cummins: First real training camp. I’ve never had one before. I’ve just had so many fights fall through. We would say, ‘Oh hey, we’re going to fight in six weeks.’ We’d have camp and the fight would fall through and we’d have to keep training and try to find one. Now, we have a date and can ramp training up or pull it back at the right the right time. Find that peak and feel bulletproof heading into the fight.
ESPN: What are your thoughts towards Cormier today?
Cummins: As soon as I lost that fight I thought, ‘Man, I need to have another crack at that guy.’ That’s not what I’m capable of. I need to go out and prove myself. I want to put myself on a collision course to meet him at some point. There’s no bad blood. It’s just from a competitive side, I have to get some redemption.