Swanson looked impressive in the early going, stuffing takedown attempts and landing combinations. Late in the opening round, Edgar secured a takedown and that would set the tone for the remainder of the fight.
Both traded and landed at the start of the second frame, but Edgar’s wrestling took over. Edgar fought hard and got a takedown. He landed short elbows and punches from the half guard position. He opened up a cut over Swanson’s left eye with an elbow and spent more than three minutes in top position pounding away.
The threat of the takedown opened up Edgar’s striking. Edgar utilized a variety of strikes to keep Swanson guessing. He closed the distance and slammed Swanson to the canvas early in the third. Swanson had no answer for Edgar’s wrestling and top game.
The fourth round looked a lot like the third. Edgar secured an early takedown and battered Swanson with punches and elbows. He mounted Swanson at one point. In the closing seconds of the stanza, Swanson got to his feet, his face bloodied and swollen.
Heading into the final round, Swanson’s corner told him he had to knock Edgar out. But he couldn’t remain standing long enough to mount an offense. Edgar took him down and attacked with submission attempts and strikes. Swanson scrambled, but Edgar stayed on him. Edgar advanced to the mount position and opened up with punches. Swanson rolled, giving up his back. With seconds to go in the round, Edgar locked on a rear-naked choke. He cranked and Swanson tapped out. It was the latest finish in UFC history with only four seconds remaining in the fight.
“Dana (White), you said you’d be watching. I hope you like what you see. I’m coming for that belt. If you don’t give it to me right away, I’m coming for it,” said Edgar following the submission win.
“For all those people that have been doubting me, you better buckle up. This is just the beginning. I’m just getting started,” he added. “I feel like I’m still getting better. I haven’t hit that ceiling yet.”
The win was Edgar’s third in a row. He moves to 3-1 in the 145-pound division.