Frankie Edgar knew he needed to make a statement on Saturday night, and he did just that, blowing the doors off Cub Swanson to stop the streaking featherweight contender in his tracks in UFC Fight Night 57's main event.
Swanson entered the bout with a standing promise from UFC officials that his six-fight win streak would get cashed in for a title shot against reigning 145-pound champion Jose Aldo if he toppled Edgar, but in the former lightweight titleholder, he he met an immoveable force. Edgar dominated the contest for 24 minutes before scoring the latest finish in UFC history, then let it be known that his tremendous performance deserved the prize that was sworn to Swanson.
"This had a little more implications just because that title shot's looming, and certain people were promised it," Edgar said on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show. "I just beat the guy who was promised it, so I'm hoping I take that spot.
"Based on what Cub has done in his past six or seven fights, the tear he's been on, and being able to go out there and finish him -- I would've loved to have done it a little quicker -- but I think I've done enough. Based on everything else I've done in my career, I think I'm that guy."
Edgar's victory over Swanson, in which he landed seven of 10 takedowns and outstruck the division's No. 2 ranked fighter by more than 200 strikes, proved to be Edgar's third straight since his narrow loss to Aldo, and pushed his UFC record in non-title bouts to a stunning 9-1-1.
The featherweight division was teeming with worthy contenders just two weeks ago, but with both Swanson and Dennis Bermudez falling short of late, Edgar and polarizing trash-talker Conor McGregor now appear to be the final two men standing for the next title shot. McGregor is slated to face Dennis Siver on Jan. 18 at UFC Fight Night 59, but unlike many of his division-mates, Edgar isn't concerning himself with the Irishman.
"I got tunnel vision on that title."