This weekend 25-10-0 Featherweight Cub Swanson steps in to the cage with 11-1-0 Shane Burgos, in a position he is not used to being in. The long time UFC vet is more than used to being the underdog, no this time he finds himself on a very rare three fight losing streak, and in the position to need a win badly. Swanson has been a stable in the top of the division now for years. Beating a virtual whos who among the featherweights beating names like Jeremy Stevens, Dustin Poirier, Charles Olivera, and Artem Lobov to name a few. Plus incredible losing efforts against guys like Max Hallowway and Frankie Edgar. Not to mention the plethora of bonuses that he has won. However, since his December 2017 loss to Brian Ortega, he has been on a skid of disappointments. Most recent being a submission lose to Renato Maicano at UFC227. A very unfamiliar position for the 35- year- old veteran of the cage. In fact, before coming to the UFC Cub never lost more than one in a row,. As well as only losing two in a row in the UFC once. Even with great performances in his loses it still has to be factor weighing on the 6- time bonus winning fighter. Cub has always put on great performances throughout his career. The half Swedish ,half Mexican fighter is known for his grit, determination and toughness. Fighters will point out his great boxing and counter wrestling as well as his toughness. No matter what ,anyone who faces off with him always knows that they are in for a hell of a fight.
However this fight he carries in three losses which is something many UFC fighters rarely survive with their job intact, let alone get a match up with a rising up and comer like Shane Burgos. Giving up a 3- inch height disadvantage and nearly 5 and a half-inches in reach, which is nothing new for the scrappy 5 foot 6 inch Californian. No matter what, it has to be a great burden on a fighter to carry a losing streak let alone one long enough to possibly cost you your job. Cub has seemingly been the gate keeper of the featherweight division now for several years. Metaphorically holding back the younger talent forcing only the truly great to get past him. After all, before this skid he has only lost to current champion Max Halloway and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Its not like the past three losses were to unworthy fighters either. Losing the rematch with Edgar and the losses to Ortega and Carneiro are nothing to be ashamed of. After all, he put up a hard – nosed spirited fight in all three. The pressure to hold the gate has to be getting harder to keep his grip. He likely can almost feel the young guns at his back shoving him out of the same spot he is trying to defend.
Its for sure a tough spot to hold and with the opposition of Burgos who is a very confident 4-1 in the UFC . Shane is a tough, brash young fighter who has already bragged of his plans to leap frog over Cub and find himself ranked after the fight. Swanson will need to bring his normal, die hard, never say die attitude to UFC Fight Night 151 to get the win. Hopefully, for him he can ignore his recent set backs and step up in grand style proving that he is still the guy to beat in the featherweight division if you ever hope to crack the top ten. Also proving that old fighter motto ,”You learn more from loses than you do from wins.” More than anything, he looks to hold on to that gate and stake his claim to greatness and hopefully move to the UFC gold. The question becomes, is the pressure too much, or do you think classic Cub grit will get him the win he needs?