For all his shortcomings and the tough road he has taken to get into the UFC, Cub Swanson has earned his place with the organization. With a spectacular KO of the always-dangerous George Roop, Swanson won his first fight in the UFC and his first fight in over a year.
The Greg Jackson fighter has now staked his claim to being a UFC-level fighter and a featherweight to fear when he is on the opposite side of the Octagon.
Fans will point be quick to point out that neither fighter has won two fights in a row since 2008, with each entering the Octagon going 1-2 in their last three fights. However, when you look closer, it becomes more apparent that each is better than their record.
Swanson went 4-2 with his losses coming to current UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo and former No. 1 contender Chad Mendes before a serious knee injury sidelined him for over a year.
His opponent, George Roop, is the tallest featherweight in the UFC, going 3-2-1 at 145 with his losses coming to former world champion Hatsu Hioki in a close split decision and former title contender Mark Hominick.
Swanson showed that he just needed some time to find his feet after being sidelined for a year and that his loss to Richardo Lamas was more about fatigue than being outclassed.
In his fight against Roop, Swanson showed that his striking and knockout power are something that the division should have to fear. Cub showed a great ability to get inside the long reach of Roop and land big, power punches that turned the tide of the fight.
We all know that Swanson has the skills and backing to win fights. He just needs to find some consistency and build upon his win one at a time.