Daniel Pineda is looking to build off a win over Herbert Burns earlier this year when he returns at UFC 256 this weekend. Against a much bigger name.
Pineda (27-13, 2NC), whose first run in the UFC ended back in 2013, made a triumphant return seven years later when he finished Burns via TKO back in August. Earning a Performance of the Night bonus in the process.
That win has him “feeling a lot better,” he said during the UFC 256 media day this week, ahead of his second fight of 2020. “Especially getting Cub. So feeling better.”
Cub would be “Killer” Cub Swanson. An absolute legend of the featherweight division. Swanson may have hit hard times of late, but he’s coming off a win over Kron Gracie, and Pineda is well aware of the impact this fight could have.
“We both like to throw down and finish fights,” he noted. “I think it’ll be a good fight. I think it should be a Performance of the Night, or Fight of the Night. One of the two.”
One of the underlying narratives for this featherweight showdown is Swanson’s return from injury. He’s spent the better part of a year on the shelf, after tearing his ACL while grappling for Team WEC at Quintet Ultra.
With the surgery that followed, Swanson’s leg is sure to be a question mark. Something that many fighters would no doubt test. And Pineda most certainly will — for no other reason than he always does. “I kick no matter what. Leg hurt or not, I’mma kick him anyways.”
And should he get the win over Swanson? “If I beat Cub, man, I want a top 10 guy,” said Pineda.
Watch the full UFC 256 virtual media day pres scrum with Daniel Pineda above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.