Although Cub Swanson has long been one of the best featherweights on the planet, and has been with the UFC since 2011, the veteran’s questioning whether his employers think much of him.
Swanson has been campaigning for a title shot for some time now, due to the fact he’s won four straight fights. But, ultimately the UFC tapped Frankie Edgar for a December 2nd showdown with the champ Max Holloway, and when Edgar went down with an injury, the promotion booked Jose Aldo for the opporunity.
“I am going to get paid the most if I fight for a title or hold a title. That’s when the big opportunities come, but I haven’t had that opportunity. I wanted to fight out my contract to see what other companies were going to offer me and be able to show UFC like, ‘Look, I’m worth is, step it up.’ I want to fight in UFC, I love it. But, I also want to be taken care and show what I’m worth…
“I’m looking back at all the people that have gotten title fights — Chad Mendes got multiple, Frankie Edgar has gotten multiple, Aldo multiple, Korean Zombie got one out of nowhere, Ricardo Lamas got one. All the people at the top have all gotten them. Max took forever to get one and I was very vocal about him deserving a title fight. I just don’t see why in 10 years with the company I couldn’t have gotten one. I feel like maybe they don’t think that highly of me.”
You can definitely understand Swanson’s frustration here, as he’s been one of the company’s top 145’ers for years, and he’s also a fan favorite. But, since he has just one fight left on his current deal, the UFC wouldn’t want to run the risk of having Swanson enter free agency with the belt. Although, they could have approached Swanson about negotiating an extension, in light of these new circumstances.
In the meantime, Swanson is scheduled to fight Brian Ortega on December 9th at UFC Fight Night 123 in Sacramento. If he wins that bout, then his bargaining power for both more money and a title shot will rise significantly.