Patrick Cummins made the announcement on social media that he wouldn’t be making it to the octagon for his matchup with Corey Anderson at UFC 217.
Though the fighter hadn’t been officially removed at the time of his announcement, he knew there was little chance he’d be cleared. Citing what he described as a “mutant” staph infection in his right foot as the cause, he also mentioned that antibiotics weren’t affecting the problem.
Anderson seemed to be disappointed by the post, replying and calling into question Cummins’ decision to back out three-weeks before the light-heavyweight clash was to take place.
Staph infections are common among martial artists, as athletes frequently come into contact with one another as well as mats during training. Kevin Lee recently suffered from a staph infection, which he seemed to be afflicted with during his interim lightweight title bout at UFC 216.
Cummins is 10-4, going 3-3 in his last six bouts and coming off a split-decision victory over Gian Villante. Cummins won his first four MMA bouts before getting handed his first loss at the hands of current UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Cummins’ opponent for the event, Corey Anderson, has a record of 9-3. He’s coming off a loss to Jimi Manuwa, and recently lost a close decision to former champion Mauricio Rua. Anderson will have a new opponent for the event.
Ovince St. Preux will step in on short notice, having recently competed at UFC Fight Night in Japan, scoring a technical submission victory over former middleweight title contender Yushin Okami. OSP won win the Von Flue choke, a move he’s used multiple times throughout his career, including in his last fight before Okami.
OSP holds a record of 21-10, scoring a notable victory over Rua in 2014. He also faced Cummins in 2015, winning by KO. OSP’s performance against Anderson will mark his second fight in less than a month. Early in his career, he once fought twice in one night for the Vendetta Fighting Championship, and has maintained an active fighting schedule throughout his career.
There have been a few instances throughout UFC history of a fighter stepping in on short-notice after having competed recently. Chris Leben scored a TKO victory over Aaron Simpson in June of 2010. After Wanderlei Silva was forced to pull out of a fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama in July, Leben stepped in and defeated Akiyama via submission.
Another example of a fighter stepping up on short-notice and getting a big payoff is Michael Bisping. The current middleweight champion claimed the title after stepping in for Chris Weidman. Despite being finished by Rockhold in a previous bout and being a heavy underdog, Bisping won via KO in the first round.
The winner Anderson/OSP may move up in the light-heavyweight rankings enough to get close to a title shot. Champion Daniel Cormier is currently scheduled to face Volkan Oezdemir next, with big-name contenders like Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson also waiting for another shot.