Cub Swanson likely would have preferred coming back to the UFC after his deal expired late last year. However, that didn’t seem like a likely option.
Up until just a week or two ago, Swanson seemed resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t be a UFC fighter any longer.
“I love fighting for the UFC, it’s been awesome for me,” Swanson told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “But at the end of the day, it got to a point where I really thought that I wasn’t going to re-sign. I thought that OK, my time is done, it is what it is. For a few months, I thought I was done with the UFC.”
Swanson, 34, said he turned down an offer from UFC before his fight with Brian Ortega at UFC Fresno in December. He lost that bout by second-round submission, ending his UFC contract. The UFC offered him a contract afterward, but he said again that it wasn’t enough money to come back.
About a week ago, though, Swanson got a call from UFC brass. Not only did they want to make him another offer, it was an increase in pay. With one caveat — he had to take a fight with Frankie Edgar at UFC Atlantic City on April 21 in New Jersey.
“I said, ‘Cool, let’s do it,’” Swanson said.
And just like that, “Killer Cub” has a new, better UFC deal and a chance to avenge a previous loss. Edgar beat Swanson in November 2014 by fifth-round submission.
“He gave me just a straight ass kicking,” Swanson said. “I owe him one.”
Swanson (25-8) would also be put right back into featherweight contention if he beats Edgar. That’s another reason why he had no problem putting pen to paper again with the UFC.
“My passion is with the UFC,” Swanson said. “There’s a lot of fights that make me hungry. To be in the big show, to be in the big fights. That played a big role in it.”
Swanson said “pretty much everybody” with regards to MMA promotions got in touch with his manager when he was a free agent. The California native, though, didn’t seem too keen on the business practices of some of those companies, he said. Swanson would not name names.
“Some of the other companies were trying to play games and I didn’t appreciate that,” he said.
At the end of the process, he’s more than happy about how things have played out. Swanson said the UFC was really where he thought he fit best all along, but it didn’t stop him from trying to get compensated the way he thought he deserved.
All is well that ends well. And to boot, he gets a chance to get back at Edgar. Swanson went from no contract to huge fight on the boardwalk in Atlantic City in the snap of a finger.
“Then in a quick second, I’m fighting Frankie Edgar,” Swanson said. “It’s crazy.”