Hall of Fame Fighter Reveals Weight Class Change for Next UFC Match

Max Holloway & Cub Swanson

Getty Max Holloway & Cub Swanson

UFC Hall of Famer and longtime featherweight Cub Swanson is making the move down to 135 pounds for his next contest, revealing the news via social media on July 26.

“Killer,” who has been a 145 pounder since 2006, announced that he’ll battle Jonathan Martinez at UFC Fight Night 212 on October 15 (bout first reported by MMA Ideas’ Meni Mayer).

“After 15 years in the Featherweight division I’ve decided to take my talents to 135 lbs,” Swanson wrote on Instagram. “Why??? I simply needed a new challenge in my life. October 15th I’ll be facing Jonathan Martinez in my Bantamweight debut.”

The UFC has yet to officially announce the bout. See Swanson’s Instagram post below:

Swanson (28-12) won his last outing in December when he took out Darren Elkins via second-round TKO. Prior to that, Swanson was beaten by Giga Chikadze in May 2021 by first-round TKO. A two-fight win streak preceded his Chikadze loss, however, with Swanson knocking out Daniel Pineda and decisioning Kron Gracie.

Earlier this month, the 38-year-old fighter was inducted into the promotion’s Hall of Fame for his all-action UFC 206 bout with Doo Ho Choi.

On the other end, Martinez (16-4) is riding the momentum of a three-fight win streak, which includes unanimous decision victories over Vince Morales, Alejandro Perez and Zviad Lazishvili.

Swanson & Urijah Faber Had Recently Shown Interest in Fighting Each Other

Swanson is one of the few active fighters left who joined the UFC as a WEC combatant. And he and former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber both recently showed interest in fighting each other.

“I would never rule that out,” Faber said in April about pairing up with Killer via Sports Illustrated. “I haven’t heard anything, though, from UFC brass. Cub’s put some interest out there. I don’t have a big hit list of people, but I want to do stuff that sounds fun, that’s meaningful for me, and that would be pretty meaningful.”

For Swanson, he told MMA Junkie Radio in January that he’d enjoy fighting Faber for the “honorary WEC belt.”

“After fighting a stretch of up-and-comers, I was excited to fight Elkins because it was somebody that’s been around for a while, someone there’s tons of tape on, somebody close to my age,” Swanson said via the outlet. “There were a lot of things where I was like, ‘Ah, we’re two veterans, we’re going to go and throw down.’ I think fighting Urijah is the same thing on another level. People love him and people have loved me for years, so I think it always makes for a great fight. We should have fought many, many times and just never did, so why not now?

“We should do it for an honorary WEC belt. They did the ‘BMF’ belt, so why not? Throwback.”

Swanson Hinted at the Bantamweight Move Back in January

In the same interview with MMA Junkie Radio, Swanson hinted that competing at 135 pounds was in his future.

“As far as dropping to 135, this was the easiest cut for me at 145 that I’ve had maybe since my first couple of WEC fights,” Swanson said. “But I could have made 140 on the scale pretty easily,” Swanson said. “I think 135 would have been tough, but I think with some strict dieting, it wouldn’t be a problem for me.

“My plan is to get back into the gym once my hand heals, and I’ve got Juan Archuleta, Dan Argueta and T.J. (Dillashaw). I’ve got a bunch of 135’er teammates that are all getting ready for their fights, trying to get back in there. So I want to keep my weight down and help them, and I want to see how my body performs while I’m keeping my weight a little lower than normal and see if it’s doable for me.”

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