Cub Swanson entered Saturday’s Fight Night Nashville main event ranked No. 4 in the featherweight division. He took on unranked Artem Lobov and had nothing to gain by taking the fight. Lobov, on the other hand, had an enormous opportunity to take out one of the top 145-pound fighters in the world.
Lobov came ready to fight. He secured a takedown in the opening round and outworked the heavily favored Swanson. He delivered hard leg kicks in the early going and walked back to the corning after the first frame ahead on two of the judges scorecards.
In the second round, Swanson found his timing and his left hand began finding its home on a regular basis. While in the clinch, Lobov tried to get the fight to the ground, but Swanson gained top position and mounted “The Russian Hammer.” Swanson would take the second frame and continue to add up the rounds on the scorecards as the fight went on.
For the remainder of the fight, Swanson put the diversity of his striking game on full display. He landed a wheel kick and a cartwheel kick in the third round. In the fourth frame, Swanson delivered a spinning back elbow in the clinch that sent Lobov staggering backward. He landed a head kick in the final round, but was unable to cause any substantial damage to Lobov. After five rounds of fighting, the judges scored the fight for Swanson by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, and 50-45).
Swanson was expecting Lobov to be a tough fight. Lobov certainly showed his durability on Saturday. As a veteran in the division, Swanson knows he’s going to face up and coming guys motivated to make a name for themselves off of his.
“It’s a fight. This was like my 21st fight in the UFC/WEC, so I’m running out of opponents. Guys like this are willing to call me out and want to test themselves. I’m in a position now where I’m a veteran and I’ve got to fight these guys,” he said following the fight. “I knew he was going to step up to the plate, and it was a hell of a fight.”
“I’d like to fight the winner of Aldo and Holloway. It’s about time. I’ve won 9 out of eleven. Let’s do it,” he said.