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 411mania » MMA » Columns

I Have a Bad Feeling That The UFC is Planning to Screw Cub Swanson Out of a Title Shot
Posted by Jack McGee on 07.02.2014

Cub Swanson was always a fighter to me that was simply inconsistent. The now 21-5 fighter looked to be a big deal in the WEC until Jens Pulver ended him in 35 seconds with a guillotine. Swanson would rebound with two victories before becoming highlight reel material for Jose Aldo back at WEC 41. It was a vicious cycle, win a fight, lose to up and comer Chad Mendes. Win another fight, and lose to Ricardo Lamas. I had resigned myself as a fan of Swanson to the fact that he would be a gatekeeper style fighter having good fights, occasionally getting a bigger fight, and then disappointing before starting all over again. But then in 2012, something clicked from Swanson. In his second UFC fight he defeated George Roop, and never looked back. At the UFC Fight Night 44 event he defeated Jeremy Stephens via decision, which was his sixth victory in a row in the UFC. The big talk was that if he won that he would be the man in line for a featherweight title shot against the winner of Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. He won six straight, he won a main event and has a marketable fight with either man because of the revenge factor. But one comment on commentary made me realize something. The UFC is about to screw Cub Swanson, likely because they think that it is best for their business…

Commentary was quick to say that (and I am paraphrasing) "while Swanson is in the mix for a title shot, the winner of next week's BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar fight could jump in line for a featherweight title shot against the winner of Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes." WHY? Because with all due respect, and I mean with all due respect, I seriously don't give a rat's ass about either man in 2014 as fighters. Why?

Well let us have a look at Frankie Edgar, the former lightweight champion of the world. Since February of 2012 he is 1-3 in the UFC, which includes losing the title to Henderson, losing the rematch to Henderson and losing to Jose Aldo in a featherweight title bout he had no right receiving. He also has no charisma, and I have no reason to care about him. Frankie Edgar had his time, but he's just another guy right now.

But then there is BJ Penn! A fighter revered as one of the very best ever… at wasting his own potential. For all of Penn's gifts in the world of martial arts, he is almost as famous for being lazy, for not adapting, and for staying in his little comfort zone in Hawaii where everyone told him he's the best and never challenged him. Since February of 2011 (his last three fights) Penn is 0-2-1. Outside of a KO of an on his way out Matt Hughes, Penn is 1-4-1 since April of 2010, including two losses to Edgar.

These are the men that the UFC is considering choosing over Swanson, but why?

Oh yeah, they are the coaches of the Ultimate Fighter 19. You know, the show that no one is talking about. These men are the coaches of the Ultimate Fighter 19, a show that does such poor numbers that 99% of MMA sites don't even report them because they are hard to come by. These men are the coaches of the Ultimate Fighter 19, the season that Dana White has called "the worst season ever" in a recent media scrum. These men are headlining the Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale, the show no one is talking about due to the fact that it is taking place the same weekend as UFC 175; which to most is the biggest UFC show this year. They are about to have a third fight that no one asked for, in a weight class that BJ Penn may not even make. Don't kid yourself, Penn is historically lazy and has had notorious conditioning issues. This has bad written all over it.

These guys used to have name value, they used to have something to make you care, but in 2014 they are about to battle in a fight no one really wanted set up by a show that no one is watching. If Edgar had strung a few wins together, and would go onto beat Penn, I could see an argument for a title shot. But he hasn't. Penn and Edgar are in this position simply because of their relationships with Dana White. White worships Penn, he thinks Edgar "is a FUCKIN WARRIOR," and that justifies them possibly getting title shots.

For years I have discussed the fact that MMA has to have entertainment and make big fights when they present themselves, because while it is a sport you can't control things. The real sports only model doesn't work, ask the IFL. But this is another possible situation where they may award a title shot to someone who doesn't deserve it, and it is all due to past accomplishments. It's not all about what have you done for me lately, but you have to give me something. Penn and Edgar have given me nothing.

All Cub Swanson has to offer is six straight wins; four by (T)KO and two by decision. And if the UFC gets their way, it's probably going to suck to be Cub Swanson…

Jack McGee is an aspiring investigative journalist with interests covering TV, Movies, Wrestling, MMA and Sports. When not hunting the Incredible Hulk, Jack works on his surfing, his Johnny Utah like throwing motion and origami.


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