The initial plan was to scrap the fight from the card altogether and try to reschedule it for a future fight card with UFC 172 being the most likely target.
Cormier, having worked hard to get down to 205 pounds for his light heavyweight debut, was understandably disappointed, and lobbied for the UFC to try and find him a new opponent.
Chael Sonnen, as he is wont to do, quickly threw his name in the hat. His involvement as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 and scheduled fight with fellow coach and longtime rival Wanderlei Silva, however, dissuaded UFC officials from that option.
Another man who threw his name into the mix was Patrick Cummins, a two-time All-American wrestler with a spotless 4-0 record.
“@dc_mma lost all that weight & the fight got cancelled last minute…I’ll step in there @danawhite. We’re friends but we’re not ‘brothers,’” Cummins tweeted when he heard about the cancellation.
MMAWeekly.com sources on Thursday indicated that the UFC has backtracked on its plans to remove Cormier from the card and would instead enlist the services of Cummins, who is a top light heavyweight prospect that has been biding his time, working for an opportunity to step into the Octagon.
UFC president Dana White later confirmed that plan, announcing that Cummins had indeed been tapped to fight Cormier and return the UFC 170 fight card to 11 bouts.
Former 2x all American, US National and undefeated fighter, Patrick Cummings will face the Undefeated Daniel Cormier.
— Dana White (@danawhite) February 13, 2014
Cummins has fought primarily for regional promotions, but made his professional debut as part of the preliminary portion of the Strikeforce card that featured Dan Henderson vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral in the main event.
It was unclear at the time of publication whether the Cormier vs. Cummins bout would remain in the co-main event slot supporting the UFC 170 headliner between Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann or if it would be slotted in further down the card.