Daniel Cormier is one of the most terrifying men on the planet, a former Olympic wrestling team captain and pro fighter who's the top contender at heavyweight and one fight away from a title shot at light heavyweight. Yesterday he was sad, because former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans had to pull out of their highly anticipated Feb. 22 bout in Las Vegas due to injury. Today he's happy, because he'll be fighting some guy from Twitter.
It went down like this: After the UFC announced that the Cormier vs. Evans bout would be postponed, Cormier made it clear that he'd been training hard and didn't want to wait to fight. He took his case to Twitter ...
... and he took it to the press, as in this interview with MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.
There's somebody out there who wants to fight. Line 'em up. Then Rashad and I will fight later and that won't bother me. I just want to fight now. I just don't want this work to be for nothing. There's somebody out there that wants to fight.
There were in fact people who were foolishly, if somewhat admirably, ready to fight him on next to no notice. Chael Sonnen, who's fought for a UFC championship three times, stepped up:
And so did Patrick Cummins, a guy from Twitter:
Cummins, oddly enough, got the call. (He may or may not have been working in a coffee shop when he got it.)
In fairness, the Twitter-based (maybe?) barista is a former Penn State wrestler who implausibly claims to have manhandled Cormier while serving as a training partner for him ahead of the Olympics. He's also won four fights since 2010, mainly on the local circuits—albeit against competition with a combined lifetime record of 9-21—and was the subject of this cool video:
Still, the main significance of this would seem to be that your chances of getting a semi-main event bout against an elite fighter really are higher than you'd think, at least if you have a working phone with a data package and aren't afraid of getting beat up.
Photo via Getty