The Case for Cub Swanson
Let’s start this out right. Cub Swanson should get the next crack at the featherweight crown. After the Korean Zombie, his true name, and José Aldo finish their scrap at UFC 163 early next month, Cub has done enough to be next. I know, I know, this is where everyone starts complaining about Ricardo Lamas getting passed over for a title shot again. While I agree that Lamas is “in the mix” Cub has impressed me much more. With Anthony Pettis finally getting a title shot against Benson Henderson at UFC 164 he is out of the featherweight division again and is on his way to giving Benson what for, hopefully a knockout. Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar are the other two perennial contenders, but based on the fact they have already lost to Aldo, I am fine making them wait a bit longer.
Let’s look a little closer at Lamas and Cub. Lamas did beat Cub and his last two fights and victories were against guys who had been offered title shots. He beat Eric Koch in impressive fashion but the fight before that, he got a close nod over a Hatsu Hioki that felt he had not yet adjusted enough to the UFC to be competitive with Aldo. Before that is the fight where Lamas was able to come back and impressively upset a Cub Swanson who in my opinion got cocky and left himself more open than he need. It was Cub’s fault and Lamas deserves praise for capitalizing on the situation when it presented itself.
Now let’s look at what Cub has done in that time. He has gone on a five-fight win streak, finishing George Roop, Ross Pearson, Charles Oliveira, and just the other week Denis Siver. His only decision was against Dustin Poirier, who I still consider one of the future champions of the division with a couple more years of maturing. He received two knockout of the night bonuses and a fight of the night bonus during this blitz. Lamas has beat two contenders; in my opinion Cub has beaten four, and it was done in the same time frame. Cub should get the next shot. He would win the rematch against Lamas and would be a much more exciting fight against the Korean Zombie or Aldo, probably Aldo. Cub vs Aldo II would be an easier fight to sell too seeing as they already met in a contender fight in the old WEC days.
Cub is even asking the right way. He is respectfully asking his fans to make some noise for him. He understands how the system works in the UFC. Fights that sell are fights that get made. The way I see it give Cub the winner of Aldo vs the Zombie and pit Lamas vs Edgar. This way Lamas and Edgar both have a meaningful fight and the winner of that fight truly does have claim to the number one contender spot. And if Aldo finally decides to move up in weight Chad is still bouncing around down there knocking people out left and right, looking for his chance to get back in the title picture. Give Cub the shot. He has earned it and let the others in the division weed themselves out.
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