When Anthony Pettis went down with a knee injury forcing him out of his scheduled bout at UFC 163 against featherweight champion Jose Aldo, it also adversely affected this weekend's UFC 162 card.
The show was stacked with several featured featherweight bouts, but when Pettis got injured, the UFC had to make the call to pull one of the fighters to fill his spot. Ultimately, Chan Sung Jung, aka "The Korean Zombie," got the nod and now faces Aldo next month in the main event at UFC 163.
Needless to say, a lot of featherweights were also fighting on the UFC 162 card who wanted the shot in front of Jung. Count Cub Swanson among them, because he believes he deserved it, as well as Ricardo Lamas, who was set to face Jung before the switch was made.
Swanson is quite sure that Jung will be overmatched when he steps in the Octagon with Aldo. He doesn't even believe Jung would have gotten out of his fight with Lamas without a loss added to his record.
"It did kind of burst my bubble a little bit. He's not ready. He'll get exposed," Swanson said during the UFC 162 open workouts on Wednesday when speaking about Jung. "Ricardo Lamas would have beat him, 100 percent easy. Easy win for him. That's fine, I'll get my chance."
Swanson believes Jung was chosen to fight Aldo due to his popularity more than his accomplishments in the cage. Throughout his MMA career—from his days in the WEC to his time in the UFC—Swanson has shied away from interviews and the spotlight, but if that's what it takes to get a title shot, he will add that to his resume as well.
"It shows me where I need to work in popularity," Swanson said. "For a little while I kind of shunned away from the media and just concentrated on my skill sets and performing and I got that down. I feel like I'm doing well. It's now my chance to share my story with you guys and try to get out there more.
"Because if the fans don't know about me, then they don't care about me, and I won't get a chance to fight for the title. I know that's the missing piece."
Swanson has a chance this weekend to make a statement in his fight against German-born striker Dennis Siver on the main card of one of the biggest shows of the year.
Currently, Swanson is riding a four-fight win streak with three of those victories by knockout or TKO. He would love to add another finish to his record this weekend.
"I feel like this could be my greatest accomplishment yet," Swanson said about his fight with Siver.
When it's all over, UFC commentator Joe Rogan will likely enter the cage and put a microphone in front of Swanson's face to talk about the victory. Unlike many past fighters, however, Swanson won't start demanding title shots or saying that it's his time to face Aldo.
Swanson wants to leave that decision up to the fans, and if they believe in him enough, their voices will speak much louder volumes to the brass at the UFC.
"I feel like if I get the opportunity, I'm going to ask the fans to decide," Swanson said. "I feel like my work speaks for itself. I'm not the biggest media guy, I just like to fight. I try to do my best and let my work speak for itself. I feel like when the public, when the fans are ready to see me fight for the title, whoever they want to see me fight, then that's what I need to do cause that's my job."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted
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