Following a tough first round that saw Dawodu connect with a couple of stiff shots to the body, Swanson forged a comeback and closed the fight strong in the end. When the decision was announced, all three judges scored the fight 29-28 and Swanson was clapping his hands and it appeared he was ready to congratulate his opponent.
Instead, Swanson was declared as the winner as he got the nod after three hard-fought rounds.
“I felt like I was in the moment and having fun,” Swanson said afterwards. “I thought I took more shots. I always beat myself up so I’d have to watch it again. I was so worried going into this fight. I got a name now and people expect greatness.”
Swanson showed no fear trading strikes with a noted Muay Thai specialist like Dawodu, who had to persevere after the UFC and WEC veteran tagged him with a couple of stiff left hands early. In response, Dawodu started targeting Swanson’s lead leg with kicks and then going back up tup with punches to the head.
A back-and-forth exchange on the feet led to Dawodu seizing on an opening with a nasty kick delivered with a thud to Swanson’s midsection. Swanson continued favoring his body for a few moments with blood also dripping down from a busted nose.
As the second round got underway, Swanson got his second wind as he grabbed onto Dawodu and threw several hard uppercuts in succession. The punches definitely got Dawodu’s attention but he was undeterred before closing the distance to do some work from the clinch.
Swanson continued fighting to break Dawodu’s grip and then inviting him into a brawl on the feet. It was those exchanges where he got Dawodu to swing wild when Swanson was able to do more damage.
Still, Dawodu eventually settled down and returned to more technical approach to his striking and that’s where he was definitely more effective.
With time ticking away to the final horn. Swanson actually managed a late takedown as he looked to advance his position and potentially catch Dawodu with something on the ground. It appeared Swanson was possibly setting up an arm triangle choke but Dawodu continued scrambling until the fight came to a close.
Swanson definitely ended the fight with a surge of momentum and that ultimately helped him get the job done with a victory in his return to 145 pounds following a short stop at bantamweight. The win improved Swanson’s record to 4-2 over his past six fights as the 39-year-old veteran continues to serve as a tough out for anyone setting foot in the cage to do battle with him.