Cub Swanson talks about his UFC 206 epic War

Cub Swanson talks about his UFC 206 epic War

Cub Swanson was a guest on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani a week after his Fight of the Year Candidate match with Doo Ho Choi. Swanson fielded the questions that we were all wondering at one point or another during their epic battle. Most notably, “What was going through your head?”

How many times have you watched the fight?
-I saw the highlights quite a few times, but I’ve actually watched the fight twice.

Do you enjoy watching it again?
-I do. I like to enjoy my work. I’m pretty critical, so I start dissecting it.

What’s the biggest thing you wish you did better in the fight?
-I think, pressure him a little earlier. The game plan was to go out and stick and move. I knew I was going to have to brawl with him, so I told my coaches,

“Chipping away at this kid isn’t going to put him away. I think I’m going to have to brawl with him.”

I’ve got no problem with a brawl, but he’s pretty sharp, so I planned to chip away at him first and then brawl with him. He’s used to finishing people in the first round, so i wanted to get him a little tired and then brawl with him when he wasn’t as sharp.

What has the past week been like for you? Do you feel people view you differently? Are you feeling the love?
-Oh definitely. It’s funny… I’m not too big on compliments, so it’s a little strange. A couple of fights ago people were like,

“You suck. You should retire.”

Now it’s the opposite. Someone told me that was the fight of the century and i was like,

“Um, I don’t know about fight of the century. I think it was really good, but come on.”

Do you think it’s fight of the year?
-Possibly. I would give it to Condit and Lawler. There was a lot at stake in their fight and it was a 5 round fight. They threw down, so that would be my pick.

Some guys don’t want a Fight of the Night because that means they were in a war. Do you want those types of fights at this stage of your career?
-It’s good for the fans and it will be good for me when looking back. I’d like to have easier nights. My easiest night was the last time I was in Toronto with Charles Oliviera. That was a weird feeling too. I got upset with him, because I had such a hard training camp and I thought that he gave up, which pissed me off. I can enjoy it, but I prefer an easier night at this stage of my career because it hurts a little more the next day and when I’m travelling.
Any injuries coming out of that fight?
-No. Not really. (stitches in his head and a tweaked ankle)

Greg Jackson asks you this nursery rhyme question about what did the fish say when it hit the wall? And then you say ‘Oh Damn’. Then he says ‘Ok. Let’s go’. Has he done that to you before?
-Yeah. He always tells me a joke or asks me a riddle. He’s just trying to see where I’m at, mentally. He wanted to see if I was rocked. I wasn’t, I was fine. I was keeping a higher pace than I would’ve liked. But, I trained for it. Greg was just telling me what to do and he asked me a question. He was seeing if i was paying attention and retaining, or if i was in my own head.

Does he do that every fight?

Wow. And it’s always a different question?
-Yeah. He’s got a couple. Sometimes I get them right. Sometimes I can’t think because so much is going on.

Has he asked you that particular one before?
-Yes he’s asked me that one. I’ve never gotten it right.

What were you doing when the fight ended and you had your hands open to the sky?
-I was just acknowledging the crowd. I’m not one of those guys that talks before fights. I’m not into all that. I’ve always believed in going out there and putting on the best show possible. I understand that I am an entertainer and a fighter as well. It’s fun for me. If I’m not having fun, then why am I doing it? So with 18,000 fans on their feet screaming… That was the biggest crowd I’ve ever fought in front of and it was amazing; the energy of the crowd. It was half me saying thank you and half me saying thank god it’s over.

I imagine there were times in the fight where you thought, ‘What more do i have to do to this guy to end him?’
-There were times during some flurries where i turned my head and looked at the referee like,

“Are you going to stop this?”

And i’d look back and he was already there about to fire back. I was thinking,

“Man this guy just won’t go down.”

I was hitting him with everything i had and he was just taking it. I knew I was doing a lot of damage and I wished his corer had just thrown in the towel, to be honest.

So if you’re him and coming up, would you have wanted your corner to throw in the towel?
-No. We’re fighters. If you look at my fight with Holloway, I didn’t even tell my corner I broke my hand or my jaw and I fought 3 rounds. That’s just what I’m going to do. I’m thinking,

“You can still win this.”

But that’s the way we train. To never give up. You almost need someone to say ‘Hey… some other day.’ At the end of the fight i tried to help pick him up, to get him back on his feet. He didn’t even seem like he knew where he was.

Afterwards in the cage and during the press conference you were talking about respect and doubting you, but it felt like you were trying to say something else.
-People say, ‘Don’t take it personal’. Well, I do. Every interview I do, I’m 100% honest. Every time I fight, I leave everything I have out there. So when people say, ‘Don’t take it personal’, its hard not to.

I always laugh and think abut doing parody videos. Someone gets fired from work or has a bad day and I’m right there going, “Oh that part when you cried because you got fired. That was great!”

Is there a chance you don’t fight again?

-It’s possible. At this stage of my career, I take it 1 fight at a time and I enjoy what I do. To fight a guy like Choi and be the underdog, is a little disrespectful. I thought he was a great up and comer and me being the underdog made me feel like people are thinking, “You are on your way out” and i hate that. I make it on my terms.

Are you leaning towards not fighting again?
-Nah, I’m sure I will. I’m pretty positive they’ll (UFC) come at me with a big fight. I’m just not into the whole, begging for a title fight. If you want to give me the title shot or the big fights, just give it to me. Don’t make me have to say “Please give it to me”. My fighting speaks for itself. When I lost 2 in a row it knocked me back pretty far. I had to win 3 in a row to get back to where I was. Now I’m back in the mix.

Without begging, is there an ideal fight you’d like next?
-The winner of Aldo and Holloway. If one of them gets injured, call me.

What does Urijah Faber mean to you?
-He was great for the sport. Urijah carried the lighter division for a long time. He paved the way for guys like me. He had an awesome career and I’m glad to have been in the same circles as him for years.

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