When Max Holloway needed a new sparring partner at UFC 218 after Frankie Edgar received an injury, Cub Swanson was the first to put himself in the queue. Unfortunately for the featherweight contender, he never got the call. It’s hard to believe that in a career that dates back all the way to 2004, he’s never gotten a title shot. It’s one of those facts where you don’t believe until you look back through the records and see for yourself. Approaching the last fight on his UFC contract against Brian Ortega at UFC Frenso, it’s something that is on Swanson’s mind. According to him, hard work isn’t enough as the UFC pampers certain individuals over others.
“No, I haven’t been [compensated what I deserve], and I feel all the fighters should be paid more. I feel I was putting in my dues for a long time out of an ignorance of thinking, ‘I’m going to put in the work and I’ll be taken care of.’ I feel I’ve been paid good, but when you see guys like Conor [McGregor], guys like Nate Diaz, who are hardly fighting and make a couple of [million] each fight, man. […] For everything I’ve already done and what I bring to the table, and what a lot of us do, we should be taken care of more long-term, that’s all.”
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) December 6, 2017
“That’s very fair [to say that Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey won titles and brought in huge numbers], but I also think both of them were very pampered. You know I’ll take slack for saying that, but it’s very true. I tell young fighters this all the time. Me and [Brian] Ortega both, we’re just another fighter from California. We’re not from a country that doesn’t have any other fighters and so we don’t have an entire country backing us up. So, we’re not an easy sell from a promoter’s perspective.” — Cub Swanson speaking to Yahoo! Sports.
Cub Swanson knows his comments are controversial, but that’s never stopped him from speaking his mind. There is no title on the line, but the stakes in some ways have never been higher for Swanson going into his fight this weekend. A huge win here in devastating fashion could result in a new UFC contract with a title shot clause, or he could place himself on the free market to undoubtedly be scooped up quick by Bellator. Either way, Cub Swanson wants to be paid what he’s worth on the heels of what could be a career-defining fight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/7/2017.