The returning Cub Swanson had a number of big fights fall through before finally getting a dance partner in Shane Burgos.
Ottawa, ON — ‘Killer’ Cub Swanson is happy to be getting back in the cage this weekend at UFC Ottawa. The return of the creative featherweight striker comes after a number of high profile opponents didn’t pan out. Instead, he’s been paired up with a rising up-and-comer in the 145lb division, Shane Burgos.
It’s not, however, a short notice fight, Swanson clarified at Thurday’s media day ahead of the Fight Night card, with Cageside Press in attendance. “It was short notice just on the opponent, but I’ve been training all year,” he pointed out. After the birth of twins, Swanson has been looking to get back to work.
“We were working on some big fights, and they just weren’t coming together, just timing wise,” Swanson said. “They gave me Burgos, and I was like ‘cool, let’s do it.'”
Some might remember Cub being linked to a fight with Jose Aldo earlier this year, but a fight with the Korean Zombie was also on the table, it slipped out during Thursday’s media scrum. “That’s true. I didn’t know anybody knew that. We were trying to make it work with the Korean Zombie, which I thought was a great fight. But he was busy with his schedule, and so they kept pushing the fight back.” Swanson said yes to every date, “but it just didn’t happen.” It is a fight Swanson would like down the line, though he believes Zombie has a fight booked (reportedly against Renato Moicano).
Ahead of Ottawa, Swanson has been open about discussing the outside distractions he’s had to contend with of late. Some, like having children, are simply part of life. Ultimately, “I just don’t feel like I performed at my best,” Swanson said when looking back at his recent outings. “Looking at everything, just saying ‘well maybe I should have been able to get away and focus on a little bit more.’ And that’s on me. I wanted to be — you know, as a fighter, it’s very selfish, and you want to be the best at it. You obsesses about it. And I’ve always done that.”
“Having kids is something new, and something exciting, that just had my attention,” he explained. “I would go to work, and come home, and then it’s like, I’m enjoying that. That being said, I was just able to get away a little bit this camp, spend half my week in Indio [California], and the last two weeks in Indio.”
That allowed Swanson to obsess about the fight the way he would have in the past. “Better balance,” he agreed when it was suggested. “It’s a learning experience. You grow up, things change, and you have to adjust.”
If Cub has found that balance, and returns to form, might we see another Fight of the Night? “If it happens, so be it. Those fight of the nights, you wake up the next morning a little sore,” he noted. “It’s not what I want, preferably, but it’s my fighting style, it’s his fighting style. If it happens, it happens. I would prefer a short night, I would prefer to go in there, get in done, and get out. But another fight of the night to add to the number, that’s cool with me too.”
Cub Swanson faces Shane Burgos on the main card of UFC Ottawa (UFC Fight Night 151) this Saturday, May 4 at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON. The card airs live on ESPN+/TSN.