Thrilling WEC veteran ready for long-awaited UFC debut
Cub Swanson has been counting the days since his last fight.
The longtime WEC veteran will be quick to tell you that when he steps in the cage at UFC on Fox 1 next Saturday, a year and a day will have passed since he defeated Mackens Semerzier in his last fight. And it’s all thanks to an abundance of bad luck.
Still, Swanson didn’t let the layoff get him down. Ready to make his UFC debut, he says that the time off simply gave him a chance to further develop his skill set.
“I’m just relieved,” Swanson told HeavyMMA.com. “I’ve had a little bit of bad luck, but I pushed through it, came out stronger, and I feel like my luck’s going to change. I feel like I’m due for some good luck. I never stopped. Even with my jaw wired, I hit mitts, I ran. As soon as it felt comfortable, I started rolling.”
If Swanson’s streak of bad luck has expired, he expects to prove it to mixed martial arts fans this weekend when he meets fellow UFC prospect Ricardo Lamas on the undercard of the promotion’s debut on FOX.
Lamas, who, like Swanson, is a WEC veteran, picked up a technical knockout win in his debut in the big show at UFC on Versus 4, defeating Matt Grice. In Swanson’s mind, it’s his turn.
“I think he’s a great challenge,” Swanson said. “He’s a great athlete. He’s become well-rounded. He’s had his ups and downs, and I know he’s hungry. I’ve been watching him for a while and this we’re both coming off of wins. I think it’s a perfect fight for me right now. If I think I’m going to get closer to a title shot, this is a fight I should win. I think it’s a great fight for me and I’m excited.”
That is just what Swanson wants – a title shot after stringing together a nice winning streak. Though he is a pedestrian 4-3 in his last seven outings, he still feels that he is continuing to improve, thanks to the coaches and training partners he surrounds himself with.
But Swanson isn’t too eager to fight for the belt just yet. After all, the last time he fought for top contender status, current champion Jose Aldo decimated him just moments after the opening bell.
Instead, he wants to continue building on his talents and reach his pinnacle before fighting for a world championship, which is something he believes he is very close to reaching.
“I feel like I haven’t reached (my peak),” said Swanson. “I keep growing and every fight I feel like I want to build. And when I feel that I’m at my peak, that’s when I want my title shot. And that’s what I want to be going for; being better consistently and always putting on entertaining fights.
“I feel close. I really do, but I felt close before. But, you know, I keep growing. I’ve trained under multiple legendary coaches and I’ve learned a lot. I feel as long as I keep having the hunger, I’m going to keep growing.”
While Swanson feels close to reaching his peak, he has not lost track of exactly why he got into the fight game to begin with.
Yes, he has title aspirations. Yes, he wants to be the best fighter in the featherweight division, but there are a few other factors that drive him to fight, including a solid income and developing a fan base with some of the most entertaining fights fans will ever see.
But exhilarating contests should already be expected after a career in the WEC that featured some top-notch excitement, regardless of which end of the win-loss column Swanson found himself on, and he plans to have another thriller on November 12 while making his arrival onto the top level of the sport.
“I’m proud of what I did in the WEC and it will always be with me and I’m ready to start a new chapter with the UFC,” Swanson said. “All I ever wanted in this fight game is to hopefully retire with some decent money and be the best fighter I can be.
“(Fans) can expect me. I always go in there, I always fight. I give it my all. You can only expect that I’m going in there to fight. I try to push it every second of the fight. That’s just me.”