A look at one of the UFC’s most interesting stories
Most traditional sports have a clear path to its premier organization. NFL, MLB, NBA, all of them will follow a similar pattern of high school, college then the pros. MMA on the other hand is vastly different, there is no set in stone path to the big leagues. You can find a path by becoming a name in another organization, joining a big gym and stacking up some wins, nowadays the Contender series is where lots of guys go. You can even become a WWE star and just casually start your career in the UFC. There is no formula.
There is one man that had a stranger journey than most to the octagon, Patrick Cummins. In 2008, he was arrested for felony burglary and facing a couple years in county but by 2014 he would be competing in the worlds elite Mixed Martial Arts organization against a future hall of famer with only four pro fights on his record. How would this have come to pass? Well, it all started like most successful stories in MMA, with wrestling. That future hall of famer he would face was none other than Danial Cormier and it wouldn’t be the first time they competed. They would first meet on the wrestling mat helping train DC for a world championship. Years later after Cummins had dealt with the charges and was working at a coffee shop in Dana Point. He heard about Rashad Evans hurting his knee and would be unable to compete. So, he made sure there was a big enough social outcry for Dana White to take notice, Patrick Cummins was more than willing to take the fight, he was eager too. As the story goes, Pats manager would attempt to talk with him at work before the manager on duty told him he could not so he went through the drive-through window and handed him the cell phone with Dana on the line where he allegedly told him to tell his manager to “Go F*** himself and get to the gym.” This was his big break.
Pat would claim he made Daniel cry and quit on multiple occasions. Cormier would retort saying if it ever happened, it was in some obscure room with a few people while he was having guys cycle in on him and he was going to whoop him in front of thousands of people. The stage was set and the story was interesting. A 4-0 fighter nobody had ever heard of was going to compete against the future light heavyweight champion. Frankly, the fight itself was a bit of a dud. Cormier outclassed him rather handedly in the first round but that’s just the beginning of the story. The most interesting part would come after.
Following the loss to Cormier, Patrick would immediately stack up three wins in a row. Which is remarkable, starting 2014 as a barista and ending the year 4-1 in the UFC. It was quite a year for Patrick and a massive surprise to fans. Known for his mustache and brief bout of homelessness, fans would root for him as he bounced back and forth between winning and losing. His most notable victory was the Polish powerhouse himself, Jan Blachowicz. After three losses in a row however, Pat decided to hang up his gloves in December of 2019, just before Christmas. He may have never captured gold but he captured our hearts and was a champion to the people. Representing everyone that worked regular 9-5’s but had dreams of becoming a world champion. His story is still the most interesting the UFC has ever seen and possibly ever will.
Nowadays, you can find Durkin pursuing his culinary passion or running his own awesome recycle shop at Durkin Supply.
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