With a four fight win streak on his side, Cub Swanson knows he's knocking at the door of title contention and now he's just waiting for his chance to open it.
Swanson dished out a punishing performance on Saturday night against Artem Lobov to earn a unanimous decision and now he's targeting a title fight when he hopes to return to action later this year or in early 2018.
First things first, Swanson is awaiting the birth of his first child but when his focus returns to fighting, he's hoping a matchup against either Jose Aldo or Max Holloway will be awaiting him.
Swanson has history with both fighters suffering a knockout to Aldo in 2009 and a submission loss to Holloway in 2015 so he has plenty of reasons to challenge the winner in the UFC 212 main event on June 3.
Ive lost to both those guys, so they both equally sting, Swanson said. In my whole career, Ive never fought for a belt, so thats something that I would like to do, or at least have the opportunity to do.
For the division, I think its exciting for Holloway to win, and just kind of build more buzz. But I think my chances of fighting for a title, its more likely if Aldo wins, because then theres not going to be a rematch, things like that. So I see both sides.
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images/Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Swanson would gladly enjoy avenging both losses at some point but the bout with Aldo has stuck with him longer considering how that fight played out.
The fight lasted just eight seconds after Aldo exploded out of the gate with a flying knee that floored Swanson and knocked him out before he could event have time to react.
Obviously, Swanson has evolved a lot over the past eight years since that fight so he would love nothing more than to get a second shot at Aldo with a title on the line.
I think itd be a great fight. Ive studied him for a long time. I know what hes good at, I know what Im good at, and I just know that I can make any fight a war and make it my fight, so I think itd be a good match-up," Swanson said. "Im excited to do it again.
"I took a lot of lessons away from that fight, some that have molded me into who I am. All my losses, really, but that one in particular, and Id like to get it back.
Of course, Swanson would never pass up the chance to face Holloway either, but ultimately he just wants a shot at the UFC featherweight title when he books his next fight.
For now, Swanson is ready to take a nice long break while waiting for his child to be born but he'll still be training even if he's not planning on booking his next fight until much later in the year or even possibly into 2018.
Im definitely going to take some time off, but Im going to be training the whole time, Swanson said. Ive got good people around. I enjoy training at this point in my career. I feel like Im a lot smarter at it, I enjoy pushing myself, so Ill be training. But realistically, fighting, probably not until late December or early next year.