Cub Swanson Deserves Better
As free agency in the MMA world becomes more prominent, one standout fighter will become available by the end of the year. Cub Swanson will have the last fight on his UFC contract at UFC Fight Night 123 in December against Brian Ortega. A match that has the making to be the fight of the night. Ortega certainly wasn’t who Swanson was vying for though. Cub has been on an incredible run, with his last two fights being the fight of the night on each of those cards. A battle between Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 108 and the 2016 fight of the year against Doo Ho Choi at UFC 206. In Cub Swanson’s last 12 fights he has only lost twice. Both of those losses coming from the two men in the Featherweight title fight set for UFC 218, Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway.
All of Swanson’s fights are eventful. A lot of people felt that he deserved the next shot at Max Holloway. There is a case for Swanson, as Edgar had only been on a two-fight win streak coming off of a loss against Jose Aldo Jr. at UFC 200 for the interim Featherweight championship. This isn’t to say that Edgar wasn’t the right choice. He has defeated the cream of the crop in the featherweight division in the past, including Swanson, as well. Cub Swanson deserves better in a sense that he should already have a new contract signed. The UFC should want to keep him on their Featherweight roster. Yet recently the UFC has used him as a stepping stone for the lower ranked fighters in the division. Brian Ortega is an undefeated fighter ranked at 6th in the division, two positions lower than Cub. Doo Ho Choi is currently ranked at 12th and Artem Lobov isn’t currently ranked at Featherweight.
The Lobov fight ultimately happened because of the back and forth banter between the two fighters on social media. Cub deserved to headline a UFC card but against Lobov it felt wrong. Artem, being a training partner of Conor McGregor‘s, had the fact he was Conor’s training partner behind him to give the UFC the ability to make that fight a main event. Cub has mostly been placed on big Fox Fight cards, which pull in a large audience. But in the last four years he’s only been on one Pay-Per-View. A high caliber, top five ranked fighter, always willing to accept any fight and not being used on a Pay-Per-View level is poor business practice. Swanson not having a multi-fight contract offered to him already is unbelievable. A fighter in a similar situation in the past was Brazilian Jiu-jitsu phenomenon, an Jacare Souza, who went all the way to fight night against Robert Whittaker not sure of his future. Then the UFC offered him an eight-fight contract before the bout to keep him in the company.
A lot of UFC fighters have seen success leaving the company. Ryan Bader joined Bellator and is currently the Light Heavyweight champion. Rory MacDonald is set to face Douglas Lima for the Welterweight championship after defeating Paul Daley at Bellator 179. Lorenz Larkin was given a shot at Douglas Lima’s Welterweight championship as his first fight in Bellator. Also Gegard Mousasi, who was a top five fighter in the Middleweight division, ended up going to Bellator. If a fighter doesn’t feel appreciated one thing is for certain, Scott Coker will make sure they feel they are appreciated. Swanson’s current contract pays out $50,000/$50,000, which in comparison to Edgar’s $200,000/$200,000 is a bad look, especially considering the UFC is a bonafide multi-billion dollar business. If he ends up signing a multi-fight contract with the UFC he should make well above what he’s currently making. He could move to Bellator, make more in a contract they could offer him, with the availability of sponsorship’s and get a title shot in his first fight. A move to the UFC’s number one competitor isn’t even far-fetched.
Cub Swanson will end up in the right place, he’s a smart fighter and exciting enough to earn the right amount of pay. He could end up with a great deal from the UFC, possibly even a shot at the winner of Edgar versus Holloway if he ends up defeating Brian Ortega. It could be that his contract runs out and the UFC doesn’t offer anything and allows him to go elsewhere. I say just pay the man already, he’s done everything that has been asked of him. He’s put on entertaining shows, fight after fight. Cub would fight for free, though, and that’s why he deserves better, wherever he goes.