Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson will headline this weekend’s (Saturday Nov. 22nd, 2014) UFC Fight Night 57 card in Austin, Texas. In a battle between two world class featherweights, “The Answer” and “Beautiful Destruction” have been paired in a matchmaking dream. With all the pressure of title contention in the UFC’s featherweight division, both guys will hope to put in career bests as they headline the blockbuster (free) card.
So how do Swanson and Edgar stack up?
Frankie Edgar has some of the quickest boxing, and best footwork in the game; trained by Mark Henry in the stand up game, Edgar sometimes goes under the radar as a striker due to his excellent wrestling. wins over Gray Maynard, BJ Penn and Charles Oliveira have showcased the speed of Edgar, but Swanson brings a certain amount of unpredictability with him.
“Beautiful Destruction” is aptly named, and you only need to look at his knockouts against Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira, Dennis Siver and Ross Pearson to understand that he guy really strike. He may not be as quick a boxer as Edgar is, but he brings to the table an extremely diverse set of skills. 8 from 21 are by KO for Swanson, Edgar has banged out 5 from 17, so not much split there. “”The Answer” has the added bonus of being near-impossible to finish, and Swanson’s only KO loss was when Jose Aldo kneed his eyebrow off.
It’s a tough one to call as both guys have their own interesting dynamics….Swanson can blast you from all angles, but you have to actually work out Edgar’s movement first. I have to call this one 50-50 given that each fighter is so masterful at their craft….
Here is where I feel Edgar will try to win rounds. A striking battle with a guy like Swanson is great, but takedowns and damage on the ground could be the difference maker. We know that Edgar was a Division I wrestler at college, and Swanson’s defense is not always there. Edgar is successful in 37% of his takedown attempts in the UFC, but he has a very high output overall, sacking 49 from 134 attempted.
The So-Cal native has a 51% TDD rate, in comparison to Edgar’s 64% stopped, and is successful in 18 of his 32 attempted takedowns at a ratio of 56%. Overall, this is Edgar’s domain for this fight. The striking is so razor thin, but “The Answer” is clearly the better wrestler. 60-40 Edgar
Both guys are black belts in BJJ, but are not really known primarily as submission artists. Edgar has 3 subs overall, Swanson 7, but it’s the Jackson’s MMA fighter who has been stopped by tap or nap/snap in the past. Shannon Gugerty, Jens Pulver and Ricardo Lamas have all given Cub stoppages on the mat, whereas Edgar has never been submitted.
What Edgar lacks in offensive finishes, he makes up for in being so hard to finish. Neither guy’s a slouch, but don’t expect this to be a Metamoris match with MMA gloves. Credentials and records/styles considered, I’m calling it 50-50
So who wins in the featherweight headliner this Saturday, Frankie Edgar or Cub Swanson? ONe thing is for sure at this stage, I’m very excited to see this fight! Stay tuned to LowKickMMA.com for more fight week coverage!