Frankie Edgar didn’t look like a fighter who was getting back into the cage too soon on Saturday night.
The former UFC lightweight champion returned to action at UFC Atlantic City, meeting Cub Swanson in the evening’s featherweight co-feature just seven weeks after Edgar was knocked out by Brian Ortega.
But Edgar answered those who said he returned too soon with a clinical performance as he cruised to a unanimous decision in a rematch. The judges’ scores at Boardwalk Hall were 30-27 across the board.
The story of this fight was simple: Swanson, who had been taken down at will in their first bout in 2014, improved his takedown defense, stuffing all nine of Edgar’s takedown attempts. However, Swanson also sacrificed his offense to do. He let Edgar control the tempo, and Edgar, while never coming close to finishing the fight, constantly moved forward and displayed vintage footwork as he moved in and out and landed along the way.
Edgar, a Toms River, N.J. native fighting in his home state, said he did notice the critics when he accepted the bout.
“I see everyone putting out stuff,” Edgar said. “I don’t believe in none of that stuff, you put your mind to it and you did it, I’ve got the best team behind me. I’m not going nowhere.”
Edgar (23-6-1) won for the third time in his past four fights and the eighth in his past 10. Swanson, who was also coming off a stoppage loss at Ortega’s hands, dropped to 25-9 with his second straight defeat.