Cub Swanson on Criticisms of Jackson’s MMA Squad: “All it Does is Piss us Off”, Honored to Fight Alongside Teammate Jon Jones at UFC 152
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Cub Swanson will be gunning for his third consecutive win and a spot in the title shot mix against prospect Charles Oliveira at UFC 152, the established vet will also be looking to impress for his Jackson’s MMA squad. Of course, due to the well documented circumstances that prompted the cancellation of UFC 151, Swanson’s trainer Greg Jackson and his teammate Jon Jones have come under fire heading into the event.
“It seems like people sometimes take unfair shots at us and our gym,” said the 28 year-old Swanson, when asked if the criticisms that have been launched at Jones and the Jackson Team have provided extra motivation. “All it does is piss us off. It seems like all the talking that’s done takes place outside the gym. When we’re here we just train.”
Of course, originally Jones wasn’t scheduled to compete at the September 22nd card, until Dan Henderson’s knee injury and the champion’s decision to not fight Chael Sonnen, brought about a new fight with Vitor Belfort. The decision of Jones, which was based on the advice given by the renowned trainer Jackson, didn’t go over particularly well with many fans and observers.
“I’m excited that Jon’s on the card,” said Swanson (17-5), who recently relayed to Full Contact Fighter that he believes a win over Charles Oliveira (16-2) could position him within striking distance of a title shot. “Even if if it would have knocked me out of the main card, I would have been bummed out, but Jon’s a hell of a champion and a good person.
“I stand by him and I’m glad that I’m still on the main card fighting alongside him”, added Swanson, who has scored back-to-back wins now since he was submitted by featherweight contender Ricardo Lamas last November. “It’s an honor for me. I’m excited to be with my teammates on such an awesome card.”
The backlash that Jackson and Jones have received didn’t mark the first time the decorated New Mexico team has been criticized. The decision to turn down a short notice fight with Sonnen also reignited arguments that the Jackson team focuses too much on scoring points, rather than finishing fights.
“I’ve been here over three years and he’s (Jackson) never ever told me to cruise it,” said Swanson, who is coming off back-to-back, second round stoppage wins over George Roop and Ross Pearson. “He’s never said to try and last. It’s always been about finishing fights, train harder and push it. He’s never said to play it safe.”
In fact, according to Swanson, even when faced with an injury, Jackson wasn’t going to stand by and watch the vet try to eek out a decision.
“This is a guy, that when I was in the WEC, I broke my hand a week before the fight, and he asked ‘do you want to fight?’ When I said ‘yeah’, he said ‘alright, let’s do it,” said Swanson, who is 7-3 in his last 10 bouts. “Didn’t try to talk me out of it. He supported me 100 %. He told me that if I didn’t throw that broken hand right away that he would be pissed at me; that he wanted me to go after the guy right away.”
“He didn’t want me going in there fighting dumb, scared and injured,” Swanson furthered. “That’s the kind of guy he is; so for people to say he’s the type of person to say play it safe, is bull. He’s a fight coach, and when it comes down to it, he wants us to fight. He wants us to finish.”
UFC 152 will be hosted by Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and will also feature a bout between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson for the promotion’s flyweight belt.