Cub Swanson wants a crack at the 145-pound throne.
Last night (Sat. April 22, 2017) Swanson bested UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor’s longtime training partner Artem Lobov in the main event of UFC Nashville with a unanimous decision win. Per usual, Swanson delivered quite the performance in a tremendously competitive bout.
After the win Swanson told reporters that he’d love the opportunity to rematch the winner of the upcoming featherweight title unification bout this Summer between Max Holloway and Jose Aldo – both men he’s lost to before (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I’ve lost to both those guys, so they both equally sting,” Swanson said. “In my whole career, I’ve never fought for a belt, so that’s something that I would like to do, or at least have the opportunity to do.
“For the division, I think it’s exciting for Holloway to win, and just kinda build more buzz. But I think my chances of fighting for a title, it’s more likely if Aldo wins, because then there’s not going to be a rematch (between Aldo and Holloway), things like that. So I see both sides.”
When asked about fighting Aldo in particular, since losing their initial match-up back in the WEC in only eight seconds, Swanson believes he and the Brazilian would put on a spectacular fight after having eight more years to study his Octagon work:
“I think it’d be a great fight,” Swanson said. “I’ve studied him for a long time. I know what he’s good at, I know what I’m good at, and I just know that I can make any fight a war and make it my fight, so I think it’d be a good match-up. I’m excited to do it again. I took a lot of lessons away from that fight, some that have molded me into who I am. All my losses, really, but that one in particular, and I’d like to get it back.”
Swanson also noted that he didn’t have any nerves heading into his bouts with Holloway or No. 2-ranked Frankie Edgar, diminishing his awareness and sense of urgency in the midst of battle:
“It was all mental in the Holloway fight,” Swanson said. “It was funny because my whole career, I’ve been afraid of being nervous. I’m like, ‘when do you get to a point where you’re not nervous anymore?’ And I realized in the Frankie (Edgar) fight and the Holloway fight, I went in there with zero nerves and I got beat up both fights. That fear, it heightens your senses.
“It makes you aware, and it makes you fight on a different level. And that can turn into an actual fear that shuts you down, or you can turn it into excitement that it’s going to be the greatest night of your life, and that’s what I’ve been able to do. I’ve been able to say, ‘yeah, that’s pressure, cool, let’s do it.’ Rather than, ‘man, I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to be embarrassed on TV,’ or anything like that. It’ all mental. So I’ve been able to conquer that and every fight has been a progression.”