For years, Cub Swanson has been trying to claw his way to the top of the featherweight division and now his hard work is starting to finally pay dividends.
Swanson had most of the tools and the athletic ability to be a successful fighter, but it seemed as if he forced things to happen amongst some of the better fighters instead of being loose and letting his techniques flow.
Look no further than the Chad Mendes fight, where the 28-year-old was frustrated and outwrestled for three rounds. While, being outwrestled by an All-American is nothing to hang your head in shame about, Swanson was angered at himself for freezing up and fearing the takedown.
“I think when I fought Chad Mendes, and no disrespect to him, but that was the most unsatisfying fight I’ve ever had,” Swanson told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I got up and nothing happened except for I got poked in the eye and I had to go see the doctor about that. I felt like I didn’t fight. I was like, wow, a whole training camp and I didn’t really fight. If I go in to train this hard and be away from my family and sacrifice all the things that I have sacrificed throughout my career over and over again, let’s fight. I want a guy who’s willing to bring it.”
After cringing at his own performance, Swanson turned things around. Going 3-1 in his next four outings, the Greg Jackson pupil scored two Fight of the Night bonuses and has taken out the likes of Ross Pearson and George Roop.
As Swanson heads into Toronto for UFC 152, he feels blessed that the UFC is matching him up against Charles Oliveira, who is yet another fighter that brings it. And he plans to continue to show that he has risen into a league of his own.
“He’s dangerous, he’s worked a lot on his stand-up, so he’s not just a one-dimensional fighter anymore. It’s going to be an intriguing match. I know his only two losses are to two top 155-pounders and both of those fighters I admire. If I could be one of those losses on his record, it’d make me feel real good.
“I feel like my opponents that I’ve been getting lately that I’m very fortunate that I get guys who want to fight,” Swanson continued. “It takes two in there and, like I said, my opponents are helping me look good, but not just by my wins but with both of us going in there going balls to the wall and putting on a show for the fans.”
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