At UFC Fight Night 57, Cub Swanson (25-8-0) will get a chance the avenge his bitter loss to Frankie Edgar (22-6-1) back in 2014. This co-headliner is a welcome opportunity for Swanson and, as it turns out, it was also quite the surprise.
He wasn’t somebody really on my radar that I thought that I would get a rematch with. There are a lot of rematches I could get in the UFC, and that wasn’t one I thought was going to happen any time soon. And then the UFC approached me with it, and I was like, “Hell, yeah. Let’s do this.” I’ve been wanting this one for a while. I just didn’t think it was close.
Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar meet in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 128. Aside from his opponent, Swanson has more reason for celebration. After a being a free agent, he re-signed with the UFC. This promotion has been his home since 2011 after he moved from the now defunct WEC organization.
His last fight of his previous UFC contact was in December, when he suffered a stunning second round submission loss to Brian Ortega (14-0-0, 1NC). After that fight, Ortega went on to beat Frankie Edgar is now the likely challenger for champion Max Holloway’s (19-3-0) featherweight belt. Swanson, who saw a four-fight winning streak snapped and his title aspirations slipping away, was off to testing the market. But there was one offer that enticed Swanson enough to get close. And though he won’t say which one, he said it wasn’t Bellator:
You’ve got to have tough skin when you’re going around, because you’ve got to kind of figure out what you’re worth at that time and depend on what organizations – it takes a lot of homework. We talked to literally everybody. And everybody had interest in me. But I think a lot of guys are coming out of the UFC on losses, on multiple losses, like they got cut. They’re not able to ask for as much money and things like that. So I think a lot of companies weren’t really prepared to make me a big offer. I was really close to signing with a company. I was really thinking hard about it. Me and my manager talked about it. I said, “Man, I really would like to be with the UFC, and I don’t like how this has all been playing out because I just wish that they would hit me with a number that I felt comfortable with and be happy to push forward.”
According to Swanson, the new offer from the UFC came “literally” the next day:
They called me and said, “Hey, we want to offer you a better deal than we talked about originally, but we also want you to take this fight.” I was like, “Cool, let’s do it.”
Ultimately, Swanson decided to stay with the UFC where he still had “unfinished business” to take care of. But he said he appreciates the respect he was given by all the different promotions he talked to during his free agency. His “unfinished business” starts with Edgar:
I felt like I was on such a roll (when we first fought). I was expecting to fight for a title, and then they wanted me to fight him. It just didn’t go my way. He was great that night. And I felt like he was the better fighter that night, by far. But I learned a lot from that loss. And I feel like I’ve been working for years on how to get better on those things.
You can check the rest of the UFC Fight Night 57 card by visiting the official event page