Shrugged Collective

Interview w/ UFC Fighter Pat “Durkin” Cummins – EPISODE 164

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Did you see THE punch?

Our recent interview with elite MMA coach Ryan Parsons began with a big surprise, for Mike at least. “This week week on Barbell Shrugged, we interview Ryan Parsons…OOOOF!”

The timing of that punch was perfect. Maybe it was more of a love tap really, but I’m sure Michael’s liver would disagree. He did cough, gargle, and flop around like a dying fish for a few minutes after the shot.

It could have been much worse. Durkin was smiling wide and holding back when he tossed that blow.

Fight camp has officially begun #CiarelliStrength Photo by @jujitsu4me

A photo posted by Durkin (@officialdurkin) on


Ryan has helped Light Heavyweight fighter Pat Cummins develop into a true UFC contender. But make no mistake, his journey to the Octagon has been long and challenging.

Pat was a two-time All American Wrester at Penn State, as as well as a two-time member of the U.S. National Team. He’s a very strong, explosive, and very experienced athlete, but in many ways that has worked against him.

The transition to MMA didn’t happen until 2010, some 6 years after the end of Pat’s collegiate wrestling career. He improved quickly, but that was part of the reason why he struggled to get fights and climb the ladder. As it turn’s out, not many people wanted to take a fight with an incredibly talented newcomer. It’s one thing to lose, that happens. But it just doesn’t look good to get smashed by the new guy with no wins.

Pat kept up the grind, which is all you can do. He kept training hard, building his skills and hunting for any fight he could get. He did what he had to do to earn a living, including working as a barista and a baker. It wasn’t a path to riches, but the early hours gave Pat plenty of time and freedom to train in the afternoon. That’s all he needed.

One day Ryan came running into the coffee shop holding a cell phone. “You have to take this call!” Pat’s boss didn’t appreciate the disruption and fired him on the spot, but fortunately that didn’t matter at all. On the other end of that phone call UFC President Dana White was waiting with a fight offer.

As they say, the rest is history.


Pat with his coach, Ryan Parsons (left) and Jason Mayhem Miller (right) –  Source.

We hope you enjoy the interview with Pat. He’s an amazing athlete with a great story. Don’t miss his next UFC fight this April.

Pat, we’ll be cheering you on, dude!




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Chris Moore is a writer, recovering meathead, fledgling raconteur and rabid imbiber. He's also cohost and resident potty mouth on Barbell Shrugged, a weekly podcast devoted to Crossfit, strength, fitness and all things brash. His experience is drawn from over twenty-years spent training for and competing in American Football, Powerlifting, a bit of strongman and a dash of mixed martial arts. Also, it's possible that he's had one too many cups of coffee. A caffeine fever is a hell of a thing, you know?

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