Frankie Edgar made a quick return to the Octagon to get the win over Cub Swanson on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, N.J.
Edgar had been criticized by many for returning to the Octagon for another bout just eight weeks removed from being knocked out by Brian Ortega at UFC 222 in March. He shook off the critics and took the fight to Swanson, whom he had already defeated once before in November of 2014.
Following a lengthy feeling out period at the beginning of the bout, Edgar, fighting in front of his home state crowd, began pressuring Swanson, pumping a stiff jab in his face and attacking with kicks to his lead leg, while Swanson primarily stayed in the pocket countering.
Edgar stepped up the pressure in round two, sticking to his strategy of stiff jabs and hard leg kicks. He was much more successful in the second frame, particularly doing a lot of damage to Swanson’s lead leg, frequently using takedown attempts to get Swanson off balance only to land a solid kick as they separated.
Swanson had his moments, landing counters to Edgar’s jab, but much less frequently. It was Edgar that drove the pace of the fight.
Edgar continued his high pressure tactics in the final round. Swanson had a brief period of promise in the final minute of the fight when he landed a right elbow followed by a left hook. He leapt at Edgar and landed a right hand, but then took his foot off of the gas pedal. Edgar answered with a short flurry and the clock rand down to zero.
All three judges scored the bout 30-27 in favor of the New Jersey native, putting Edgar, the No. 4 ranked UFC featherweight, right back in the thick of things at 145 pounds.
Frankie Edgar Wants Another UFC Title Shot
“Cub did a great job man. He got me chasing him. I wanted to put on a more dominant performance, but my hat’s off to Cub,” Edgar said after the fight.
Edgar had been lined up to challenge UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 222 in March, but the Hawaiian had to withdraw from the bout because of an injury. Edgar remained on the card, accepting the fight with Ortega, to whom he lost. Holloway will now put his belt on the line against Ortega in the UFC 226 co-main event in July.
Edgar wants the winner.
“That title shot. I risked it (by fighting Ortega). I was doing really well with Brian Ortega. He caught me with a good shot,” Edgar admitted. “I’d love to fight the winner of those two guys. I know they’re going down in July. So, we’ll see what happens.”