Much has changed since Jose Aldo knocked out Cub Swanson in eight seconds at WEC 41.
Under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, Swanson has grown into an upper-echelon contender in the UFC.
While he was always seen as a budding talent in the WEC, Swanson found himself constantly deterred with inconsistent performances against quality opposition.
Since joining the UFC, he has amassed a 3-1 record, with quality knockout wins over Charles Oliveira, Ross Pearson and George Roop.
Now that Swanson has found his stride, he's looking to test himself against the best in the featherweight division.
"I definitely feel like I don't get credit, but I've always taken that as kind of my fault," Swanson said on the Sherdog Radio Network's "Beatdown" show.
"I've been inconsistent. It's the way this game is. There's so many ways to lose and to win. When you're drastically trying to make improvements in your game, sometimes you get lost in what made you great. Finding a balance in your game is a delicate thing. I feel like those wins and losses were really my growing period. I feel like right now is the time where everything's coming together and everything's just flowing for me. I feel unstoppable right now."
It's hard to argue with Swanson, especially after his first-round knockout victory over Oliveira at UFC 152. Oliveira was seen by many as a future title contender in the featherweight division, but a few body shots and an overhand right from Swanson was all that was needed to crush the young Brazilian's hopes.
Few fighters at 145 pounds boast the same kind of punching power as Swanson, who picked up his seventh-career knockout against Oliveira. He hopes the victory gets him one step closer to avenging his WEC loss to Aldo and capturing the UFC title.
"I'm right there. I know I am. The way the UFC is, if you win decisively, it's kind of jumping you through the ranks. I've been the underdog in my last three fights, and those were all quality opponents and I was able to win decisively. I feel like I should be right there, but there's a couple of people that are obviously ahead of me. I kind of got to wait my turn and I'm OK with that. I'll take another fight before I get a title shot if I need to or whatever. I'm happy fighting right now."
Swanson has obviously made improvements to his fight game, but Aldo has improved as well.
Since his devastating knockout win over Swanson, Aldo has entered the same conversation as Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Has Swanson improved enough to compete with Aldo?
Sherdog.com asked Swanson to weigh in on the potential rematch.
"I know that I could win that fight 10 out of 10 times if we did it again. It's not even an issue to me anymore. I'd actually like my brother—would love for my brother—to fight him, who's an up-and-comer, which I feel is more of a fair fight. I don't really feel like [me vs. Aldo] would be a fair fight at all."