Featherweight Cub Swanson beat Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 108 on Saturday night, pushing his winning streak to four. Division champion Jose Aldo and interim champ Max Holloway fight at UFC 212 on June 3, and Swanson is happy to fight either.
“I’ve lost to both those guys, so they both equally sting,” said Swanson as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting. “In my whole career, I’ve never fought for a belt, so that’s something that I would like to do, or at least have the opportunity to do.
“For the division, I think it’s exciting for Holloway to win, and just kinda build more buzz. But I think my chances of fighting for a title, it’s more likely if Aldo wins, because then there’s not going to be a rematch [between Aldo and Holloway], things like that. So I see both sides.”
Swanson lost to Aldo in eight seconds in 2009, but has grown enormously since.
“I think it’d be a great fight,” said Swanson. “I’ve studied him for a long time. I know what he’s good at, I know what I’m good at, and I just know that I can make any fight a war and make it my fight, so I think it’d be a good match-up. I’m excited to do it again. I took a lot of lessons away from that fight, some that have molded me into who I am. All my losses, really, but that one in particular, and I’d like to get it back.”
The Holloway loss was via late submission at UFC on Fox 15 on April 18, 2015. The fight prior Swanson got tapped by Frankie Edgar with four seconds to go in Round 5.
“It was all mental in the Holloway fight,” said Swanson. “It was funny because my whole career, I’ve been afraid of being nervous. I’m like, ‘when do you get to a point where you’re not nervous anymore?’ And I realized in the Frankie fight and the Holloway fight, I went in there with zero nerves and I got beat up both fights. That fear, it heightens your senses.
“It makes you aware, and it makes you fight on a different level. And that can turn into an actual fear that shuts you down, or you can turn it into excitement that it’s going to be the greatest night of your life, and that’s what I’ve been able to do. I’ve been able to say, ‘yeah, that’s pressure, cool, let’s do it.’ Rather than, ‘man, I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to be embarrassed on TV,’ or anything like that. It’ all mental. So I’ve been able to conquer that and every fight has been a progression.”
Swanson has a baby coming in August and wants to take a break.
“I’m definitely going to take some time off, but I’m going to be training the whole time,” he said. “I’ve got good people around. I enjoy training at this point in my career. I feel like I’m a lot smarter at it, I enjoy pushing myself, so I’ll be training. But realistically, fighting, probably not until late December or early next year.”