After a four fight losing skid that seemed to signal the end of his days as a UFC contender, Cub Swanson dug deep and turned things around with a 3-1 run over his last four fights. Despite beating Darren Elkins in his last fight with a spectacular spinning wheel kick, ‘Killer’ Cub decided it was time to drop from featherweight to bantamweight for what may be his last career sprint.
Swanson faces Jonathan Martinez at 135 pounds in the co-main event of this weekend’s UFC Vegas 62 event. In a new interview with UFC.com, he explained the decision to cut another ten pounds off his frame and how difficult it was to do.
“At the end of the day, I really felt like I needed to suffer a little bit more,” Swanson said. “I felt guilty getting into fight week and not suffering. I was spending time with my kids, training, and I had mastered it. But for me to be comfortable retiring down the road here shortly, I wanted to know that I gave it my all, and I needed to suffer more and give a little more to this sport.”
“At this point in my career it’s all about what I can learn from this and how I can grow as a human being and as a martial artist,” he added. “Showing up on the scale, that’s already an accomplishment. After that, it’s just fun. The only thing I’m trying to prove at this point is to myself that I can do it, that I still have better performances ahead of me and not behind me, and that’s all that matters.”
Cub Swanson before weigh ins
145lbs vs 135lbs pic.twitter.com/jMHKzhoXj9
— 🌴ᴛʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴏꜰᴡᴀʀ🌴 (@TheArtOfWar6) October 14, 2022
Swanson revealed that he fasted extensively to force his body to shed weight, and he often training three to four times a day with just one meal and a shake in a four-hour period. But it wasn’t the diet that bothered Cub the most. Instead it was the toll it took on his family time.
“Cutting to 135 was a lot bigger sacrifice for me and my family,” Swanson said. “My grade of being a dad this camp, not so great. But I knew that going in, that my wife had to do the heavy majority of the work, and my hat’s off to her on that. It’s all the little things: getting up in the morning, getting ready for school. I had to sleep in and tell my wife, ‘Hey, I got to sleep in, I got to recover. I needed to focus on this one. I’m getting towards the end of my career, and I needed to be able to focus, and I was able to do that.”
According to Cub Swanson, his speed has increased and his power as well. Training partners in the gym tell him he’s still feeling as solid and strong in grappling as before. Coming into his debut fight this weekend, Cub is feeling good enough about the switch that he’s already committed to fighting the rest of his career at 135. How long will that be? Swanson wouldn’t say, but he did admit he planned on having a hard conversation with his wife when he turns forty next year.
Will Cub Swanson find the edge he’s looking for at 135 pounds? Or has he jumped out of the frying pan into the fire with some of the nastiest killers in the UFC? Let us know what you think of his bantamweight aspirations in the comments, PENN Nation!