By In Mixed Martial Arts

Cub Swanson and the Moment He Needed

The first time I saw Cub Swanson was a time he’d probably rather not remember. It was his fight against Jens Pulver at WEC 31, and I distinctly remember thinking Swanson was cocky and dislikable. In fairness, he was a 24-year-old on an 11-fight winning streak in the biggest fight of his life, so it was understandable and earned. However, he accused Pulver of ducking him, so it was hard not to feel a little malignant pleasure when he got choked out in 35 seconds. That night wasn’t about Swanson, though. It was a feel-good moment for “Little Evil,” an impressive rebound over an up-and-comer that, at the time, felt like the start of a career resurgence for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first lightweight king.

The next time I saw Swanson is also a time he’d probably rather not remember and possibly doesn’t actually remember but can’t forget because it’s been replayed so many times. It was at WEC 41 against Jose Aldo. Swanson picked up two consecutive wins after his loss to Pulver and seemed to be back on track to a title shot, but instead, he encountered a surging future all-time great. One strike and eight seconds later, Aldo became the talk of the sport. It was a coming-out moment for Aldo. It remains one of his most stunning highlights, and his in-cage victory dance is almost as memorable as his flying knee.

Those two instances are the earliest and most definitive examples of what has seemed to be the story of Swanson’s career: being on the wrong end of special moments…

Read more at Sherdog