Count Cub Swanson as a fighter who enjoyed the moment just as much as the fans. But unlike the rest of those who watched bout, Swanson also sees a potential opportunity out of Aldo’s victory.
One of the worst moments of the popular veteran featherweight’s career was an eight-second knockout loss to Aldo via flying knee in a 2009 WEC bout. All these years later, the stars might just be aligning for the duo to finally meet again.
“I was proud of him,” Swanson told MMA Fighting at Thursday’s UFC 227 media day. “It was good to see the emotion on him. We all know what it’s like to have the ups and downs in this sport. I was truly happy for him and I think a lot of people were as well. But yeah, I definitely would like to run it back and maybe the time is soon.”
Swanson has a formidable opponent on his hands in Renato Moicano on Saturday night at Staples Center. But regardless how this bout goes, an Aldo rematch could make sense for both parties: Aldo isn’t quite back in the title picture despite his win over Stephens, as he lost back-to-back bouts to champion Max Holloway; and Swanson has maintained himself at a certain level while developing a bulletproof reputation for competing in exciting bouts, win or lose.
“I’ve got to get this guy out of the way,” Swanson said of focusing on Moicano. “I’ve got another Brazilian striker in front of me and I’ll take care of that and we’ll see what happens.”
Swanson, who recently signed a new deal to remain with the UFC, did have one quibble with Aldo’s victory over Stephens: The bout ended just as it started revving up.
“I wished the fight would have went a little longer,” Swanson said. “I think he did an amazing job of hitting the body and getting the finish, but just as a fan I wanted to see them scrap because it was getting good.”