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Morning Report: Cub Swanson calls for ‘honorary WEC belt’ fight against Urijah Faber, Faber responds

WEC 52 Weigh-in Photo by Kari Hubert/WEC Productions LLC via Getty Images

After almost 18 years in the sport, there are very few mountains left for Cub Swanson to climb, but there is one fight in particular that has eluded him during his career, and fresh off a sensational KO of Darren Elkins last month, Killer Cub is hoping to make his dream fight a reality.

Following his wheel-kick KO of Elkins at UFC Vegas 45, Swanson expressed interest in fighting UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber. Both men cut their teeth in the WEC’s featherweight division back in the day but somehow the two never wound up on opposite sides of the cage from one another. Now, Swanson thinks it’s time to change that, and to put an honorary belt up for grabs as well.

“After fighting a stretch of up-and-comers, I was excited to fight Elkins because it was somebody that’s been around for a while, someone there’s tons of tape on, somebody close to my age,” Swanson told MMA Junkie. “There were a lot of things where I was like, ‘Ah, we’re two veterans, we’re going to go and throw down.’ I think fighting Urijah is the same thing on another level. People love him and people have loved me for years, so I think it always makes for a great fight. We should have fought many, many times and just never did, so why not now?

“We should do it for an honorary WEC belt. They did the ‘BMF’ belt, so why not? Throwback.”

Faber was a mainstay of the featherweight division for many years, with Faber having held the WEC title from 2006 to 2008. After losing the title to Mike Thomas Brown, and then coming up short in two subsequent attempts to regain it, Faber then dropped down to 135 pounds where he spent the remainder of his career, other than a one-off return to featherweight to fight Frankie Edgar in 2015. Conversely, Swanson has competed exclusively at featherweight since joining the UFC, but the 38-year old believes that he could make the cut to bantamweight without issue and would be willing to do so for this fight.

“As far as dropping to 135, this was the easiest cut for me at 145 that I’ve had maybe since my first couple of WEC fights,” Swanson said. “But I could have made 140 on the scale pretty easily. I think 135 would have been tough, but I think with some strict dieting, it wouldn’t be a problem for me.

“My plan is to get back into the gym once my hand heals.... I’ve got a bunch of 135’er teammates that are all getting ready for their fights, trying to get back in there. So I want to keep my weight down and help them, and I want to see how my body performs while I’m keeping my weight a little lower than normal and see if it’s doable for me.”

The big question here is Faber who is semi-retired from MMA, having formally called it quits in 2016, only to later come back for a pair of fights in 2019. Faber has not fought since then, however, he has stayed in the USADA testing pool, leaving the door open for future fights that could interest him, and according to “The California Kid,” a fight with Swanson does just that.

“Honestly, I know he broke his hand, that might give me enough time to train,” Faber said on his YouTube channel. “He might drop down to 135 - we were supposed to fight back in 2004, with King of the Cage on short notice for a thousand bucks, I think they were gonna pay him a couple hundred bucks and me a thousand bucks and that never happened, so Cubby, I’m honored that I’m your dream fight here in this scenario. So we might have to find out who the king of California is, I don’t know.”

Faber also posted about the potential fight on Twitter, calling the offer tempting, which in turn got Swanson’s attention.

A bout between Faber and Swanson would feature a combined 63 wins and 37 years of MMA experience, not to mention 21 combined post-fight bonuses between the two of them (UFC and WEC).


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Thanks for reading and see y’all next week.



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