Cub Swanson is fighting for the biggest opportunity of his career tonight at UFC Fight Night 57.
A win over Frankie Edgar would not only be the greatest conquest on his resume to date, it would lock him up as the No. 1 contender to Jose Aldo and the featherweight title.
“No matter what anyone says, I feel like if I win this, I’m fighting for the title,” said Swanson, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I feel the fans will back me up and there’s no denying me after this.”
After a 2011 submission loss to Ricardo Lamas, Swanson (21-5) quickly got back on track to start 2012. He hasn’t lost since, defeating the likes of Ross Pearson, Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver and Jeremy Stephens since.
He does have a defeat on his record against Aldo, as the champion landed a flying double knee just eight seconds into their 2009 contest that ended the fight. That Swanson, though, isn’t the same one that currently walks to the Octagon.
“The belief in myself (has changed),” he said. “I’ve traveled around and learned a lot of different styles. It took me a long time to learn my style and technique, believing in myself and believing I belong here.”
Following his win over Stephens, most felt Swanson was the obvious next contender. However, a planned Aldo-Chad Mendes fight was delayed, only recently taking place. Not wanting to sit around, Swanson agreed to fight Edgar to help secure his standing in history.
“To explain to people what I do, yeah, if you’re champ, it’s an easy way to make your case,” he said. “But also fighting the best of the best. I could have sat out, but I had the chance to fight Frankie Edgar – one of the best. I’m a fighter.”