Wednesday, October 18, 2017

UFC light heavyweight, artist, adventurer, avid cyclist/recyclist, and pancake enthusiast Patrick Cummins recently withdrew from a fight with Corey Anderson at UFC 217 on November 4, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The cause was a staph infection.

“IV antibiotics aren’t killing my mutant staph infection,” he wrote on his social network. “UFC 217 isn’t happening for me. Sorry everyone.”

Anderson was not impressed.

“How do YOU call it quits so far out from fight night? There’s still 3 weeks til fight night,” he replied via Instagram. “And I’ve had staph before. Cut that shit open, drain it, take your meds, take a couple rest days to elevate the leg, and you’ll be good by Saturday. You called me out in 2014 and I’ve been waiting for our time to come every since. There’s still plenty of time til the dance. I got my best outfit, my family’s tickets, and my friends are all looking forward to it. I hope to see you on the floor.”

The answer to Anderson’s question is contained in Cummins’ initial Tweet – the staph wasn’t responding to antibiotics. That’s a very scary situation, and not one conducive to the final less than two weeks of camp.

Cummins suggested that the dance simply be postponed.

“Talking tough now that you know I pulled out? Let’s rebook it,” he tweeted. “I’m still down. You need more time to train for me anyways.”

The fight delay is vastly preferable to what happened when Kevin Lee got a staph infection on his chest and went into an interim title fight with Tony Ferguson anyway. Lee withheld the information from the Nevada Athletic Commission, and did not fight to his potential.

“I think the weight cut really didn’t help with it,” Lee told MMAFighting as transcribed by Australia’s “When you’re in that weakened state and I’m not eating that many calories, my body just didn’t have the immune system to fight it off. It affected a lot. It put me in a fight or flight mode for too long, but it’s going be all right. I’ve dealt with a lot more than a staph infection.

“A staph infection wasn’t going to stop me from fighting. Some of these dudes would go to the hospital over it, but I’m like, ‘f*** it, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?’ Let’s do it.”

What can happen is you don’t fight like you should, and lose a title fight, which in turn could have led to millions in a fight with Conor McGregor. And in doing so you endanger the health of yourself, your opponent, the referee, and your corner. And that’s not even the worst of it.

Cummins did the right, smart thing.

This video from the National Center for Sports Safety provides a little more detail on what to the dangers of staph, and how to identify it.

Further information is available online, including at WebMD.