Yesterday, UFC light heavyweight Patrick Cummins posted an update to the Adventure Blog section on his Web site titled “Coffee & Croissants." The text alignment and typesetting for his words are more Geocities circa 2001 than Squarespace circa 2014, but the blog entry is still a readable and interesting retrospective of what were surely the two most remarkable weeks in Cummins’ life--a stretch that saw him go from beans-spilling barista to co-main-eventer against Daniel Cormier at UFC 170.
There’s a certain antiquity to reading such a lengthy post. The late Evan Tanner was perhaps MMA’s most adept blogger, but in the years since his passing, 140 characters tend to satisfy the communicative needs of most fighters. Experiencing longer, less impulsive prose is special if only because it’s so rare.
The candor in Cummins’ post stops at the point we expect from fighters on the come-up who are examining a loss—namely, the belief that they could’ve and should’ve and would’ve won the fight under alternative circumstances, and that once they cut through the mists of the future, a title shot is bound to happen. But when Cummins writes that his mid-fight realization that he was in the zone actually snapped him out of the zone and contributed to his defeat at Cormier’s hands, he gives his audience a glimpse into his less sportive experiences performing in front of crowds:
“A theater professor of mine once offered this to me, ‘When you’re on stage, be in character, be in the moment until the scene cuts. When the curtain closes you can be yourself, but until then you are someone else.’ I used his advice once while performing the song ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Weetus [editor’s note: It’s actually spelled Wheatus] in class and again in a small play at the end of the year that no one attended, but I used it much more during athletic competition. I haven’t thought of him or his advice since I’ve been in college. Maybe I need to get back to my roots.”
So there you have it. Patrick Cummins was, technically, a thespian by training, and he also performed at least one turn-of-the-century radio rock single in front of his classmates. That’s the kind of revelation that demands more than 140 characters.
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