Following Cub Swanson’s instant classic, “fight of the year” candidate with Doo Ho Choi at UFC 206, the featherweight contender explained why he was extra motivated to win the scrap.

During the action packed bout, both men landed heavy, heavy shots, but Swanson scored more often and earned the unanimous decision. Although Swanson was ranked #4 in the 145 division leading up to the fight, Choi was the betting lines favorite to win. The South Korean fighter had gone 3-0 to date in the Octagon, and in each bout, Choi finished his opponent in the opening round.

Following the card, Swanson had this to say about Choi, and why he felt disrespected before the event (quote via MMA Junkie):

“All the film I watched on him, I was a fan of his before the fight,” Swanson said. “When he called me out, I thought it was a little disrespectful just because I felt like he only called me out because he thought I wasn’t as good as I used to be or something. It motivated me, and I was ready to come out here and prove him, and prove everyone else wrong.”

Although Swanson lost back-to-back bouts to Frankie Edgar in Max Holloway in 2014 and 2015, since then, he’s won three straight fights. So in other words, if anyone had written Swanson off as a top contender, clearly they were way off base. It will be interesting to see what comes next for both Swanson and Choi. Although the latter’s rise up the ranks may have been halted for the time being, Choi’s profile has likely never been bigger.

UFC 206 took place in Toronto, Ontario.