UFC FN 57: Cub Swanson Says “Belief in Myself” Behind Title Shot Run
By Kelsey Mowatt
A few years ago, many fans likely wrote off the championship prospects of Cub Swanson, but since the vet racked up losses to Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas in a five fight stretch, the featherweight has bombed his way back into title contention.
Yes, since Swanson was tapped out by Lamas in what was his first UFC appearance, not only has the Jackson’s MMA fighter won six in a row, he’s done so in impressive, and often very violent fashion. Since his 2011 loss to Lamas, Swanson has gone on to defeat George Roop, Ross Pearson, Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver and most recently Jeremy Stephens.
Four of the victories have come via TKO or knockout, and four of those men are currently ranked in the UFC’s top 15 featherweight rankings. That’s quite the run.
So what, if anything, has changed in the 31 year-old fighter? While appearing on the latest edition of “UFC Tonight“, Swanson offered this response (quote via FOX Sports 1 press release):
“The belief in myself. I’ve traveled around and learned a lot of different styles. It took me a long time learn my style and technique, believing in myself and believing I belong there.”
As result of his recent success, Swanson has been campaigning hard for another shot at the champion Aldo, provided he scores an impressive win over Frankie Edgar at UFC FN 57. In other words, it’s vividly clear that the California fighter isn’t content with just being a perennial contender.
“To explain to people what I do, yeah,” Swanson told “UFC Tonight”, when asked if he needs a championship win to further validate his career. “If you’re a champ, it’s an easy way to make your case. But also fighting best of the best, I could have sat out, but I had the chance to fight Frankie Edgar, one of the best. I’m a fighter.”
While Swanson has put together an extremely impressive and entertaining streak, it has come at a time when another man, Conor McGregor, has been doing the same. Of course, many observers would argue that McGregor hasn’t fought the level of competition that Swanson has, and they would be right. “Notorious” is coming off a victory over the top ranked Poirier, and holds a win over Max Holloway, but at the end of the day, he’s 4-0 in the UFC.
But, due to McGregor’s brash persona and highlight reel skills, the Irish fighter has quickly mobilized a considerable fan base. In addition, and as Dana White has noted in the past, McGregor has yet to face Aldo.
White has also acknowledged, however, that the promotion has promised Swanson a title shot if he defeats Edgar. So, if Swanson is victorious on Saturday, and McGregor scores a clear cut win over Siver on January 18th, it isn’t clear exactly who will challenge for the title next.
“No matter what anyone says, I feel like if I win this I’m fighting for the title,” Swanson said on “UFC Tonight. “If feel the fans will back me up and there’s no denying me after this.”
UFC FN 57 will be hosted by the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.