I have to give Pat Cummins credit. Not only was he willing to step up on short notice to face one of the very best MMA fighters in the world, but he’s done a pretty good job of promoting himself in the process. According to Cummins, he made Cormier cry in wrestling practice once. I personally don’t think it’s relevant to this fight in any way, but it’s certainly increased interest in the fight, and that alone is a win for Cummins.
It’s also the only win Cummins is going to get because he’s not winning this fight. When it comes to MMA I’m very hesitant to speak in absolutes, but for this fight in particular I think Cummins has as close to a 0% chance of winning as any fighter has ever had in the UFC.
Cummins is 4-0 in MMA with four stoppage victories. You can check out three of his fights by clicking this link, and if you watch them you’ll understand why I feel the way I do about this fight.
First of all, Cummins is not a polished striker at all. His offense is to throw an occasional straight punch as a setup to the takedown. His defense is to either simply eat the strike (especially leg kicks) or cover his face with his arms. Neither is an effective defense in MMA.
By contrast Cormier has developed into an excellent striker who lands 4.02 significant strikes per minute while absorbing just 1.36. Cormier has landed more strikes than his opponent every time he’s fought. Against Cummins, arguably a worse striker than anybody Cormier has ever faced, there’s almost no chance that Cormier will lose on points or by knockout.
Obviously if Cummins is to win this match, he has to do so with takedowns. Good luck – Cormier has never been taken down in MMA and when he engaged Cummins in an actual wrestling match, Cormier won the match 7-0. If Cummins couldn’t take him down then, it’s hard to see how he takes Cormier down now.
Maybe Cummins breaks through and lands a takedown at some point. If that happens I fully expect Cormier to immediately bounce right back to his feet.
Cummins is the kind of fighter I could see succeeding in the UFC light-heavyweight division. His wrestling credentials are excellent and that would give him at least a fighting chance against most of the light-heavyweights on the roster. If Cummins had more experience I could see him developing his striking and submissions and becoming a complete fighter. But not only is Cummins taking on the best wrestler in the division, he’s doing so far too early in his career to have any hope of winning by any method other than wrestling.
Pick: Daniel Cormier by TKO
DEGENERATE GAMBLER’S CORNER
Even though I actually think there’s some value on Cormier as a -1200 favorite, risking $12.00 to win $1.00 doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. What I’ve done instead is placed a bet on Cormier wins inside the distance at -135. Cormier’s history is one of finishing the fight when he faces an overwhelmed opponent. With that said, Cormier doesn’t have great knockout power, so I’ve kept the risk low and wagered $1.35 to win $1.00.