What’s at stake for Featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson on Saturday night?
THIS ONE is a treat. Two of the most talented fighters in one of the UFC’s most skilled divisions will go toe to toe this weekend with title implications on the line. As a fight fan, you can’t ask for much more. Each of these dudes come with a highlight filled history of bringing the ruckus whenever they enter the cage. For someone who has had a little TOO MUCH fun on the last few Saturday eve’s, I can’t wait to melt into the couch this weekend with an IPA that is entirely too hoppy and watch these two top level talents trade leather. I’ll break down who I think wins this important scrap after the jump!
With the likes of Bobby Green, Edson Barboza, Paige Van Zant (Call me!), Brad Pickett, and Joe Benevidez gracing this card, it seems to be flying under the radar for most MMA folk. Though, once any self respecting MMA fan sees the names in the Main Event, that excitement of opening up an N64 on Christmas morning in ’96 runs through you just for one more split second. This is going to be a scrap!
We all know that the shadow of Conor McGregor and his silver tongue looms large over the 145 pound division. Still, as far as talent goes, these two that are set to tango in Austin may be the most skilled in the long line of suitor for Jose Aldo’s belt. As the great philosopher Christopher Wallace once said, “I’ve got techniques drippin’ out my buttcheeks…” and that is surely the case with both of these martial artists.
Cub Swanson trains with Timothy Bradley, the same Timothy Bradley that shockingly defeated Manny Pacquiao and essentially derailed the PacMan/Mayweather superfight. That said, Cub’s hands are crisp. Crunchy leaves in the Fall crisp. He tends to get a little loopy and flat footed with his strikes, but if this cat gets his paw’s on your chin, you tend to go to sleep. Just ask Ross Pearson how that feels…
Though, if Cub was going to be matched punch-for-punch with anyone on the feet in this division, it would be Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar. Frankie’s frantic head movement and powerful straight shots have made him one of the greatest fighters in this history of the Lightweight division. He hasn’t exactly lit it up at 145, but he hasn’t had the real chance to impress yet. This fight with Cub will insert one fighter immediately into title contention with a true shot at dethroning the regressing champ. I mean, Frankie already owns two rounds over Jose Aldo, who says he couldn’t get a third a second time around?
This fight comes down to the clash of two immeasurable factors: Cub’s killer instinct versus Frankie’s iron will. Cub Swanson is one of the premier finishers in the UFC. If the man smells blood, violence is surely about to go down. He unloads wild shots until his opponent is being consoled by the regal Herb Dean. Now, if you have watched damn near any Frankie Edgar fight you know he gets beat up and beat up GOOD. He takes a few too many shots to the dome in the early rounds, but he then summons some sort of otherworldly extra gear and relentlessly assaults his opponent in the latter rounds. As his opponent is running on empty, a bloodied Edgar is just getting gassed up.
Vegas sees the former Champion Edgar as a 2-1 favorite and I see the fight closer to a pick ’em, but it’s hard to deny Frankie’s ability to win decisions. I just don’t see anyone getting finished in these five rounds. A title shot is being tangled as a prize and we’ll see an epic clash to attain further Featherweight fame. For a winner? I have to pick Mr. Edgar. His straight punches will fit inside Cub’s looping hooks and his tremendous footwork will keep him out of danger for most of the fight. Cub seeks a fight in a phonebooth, Frankie will frustrate him and force him into mistake or two. Decision, 3 rounds to 2, for the Toms River native. Edgar by decision.