For Swanson, UFC Fight Night 128’s co-headliner is a welcome opportunity. And, as it turns out, it was also quite the surprise.
“He wasn’t somebody really on my radar that I thought that I would get a rematch with,” Swanson told MMAjunkie Radio. “There are a lot of rematches I could get in the UFC, and that wasn’t one I thought was going to happen any time soon. And then the UFC approached me with it, and I was like, ‘Hell, yeah. Let’s do this.’ I’ve been wanting this one for a while. I just didn’t think it was close.”
Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and Edgar (22-6-1 MMA, 16-6-1 UFC) meet in the FS1-televised co-main event of UFC Fight Night 128, which takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
The opponent, however, isn’t the only reason for celebration when it comes to Swanson’s upcoming matchup. It also means that, after a free-agency period, he got his wish of re-signing with the promotion that’s been his home since his 2011 migration from the now-defunct WEC organization.
Swanson fought the last fight of his previous UFC contract in December, when he met Brian Ortega. After upsetting Swanson with a second-round submission, Ortega went on to beat Edgar and is now the likely challenger for reigning champ Max Holloway’s featherweight belt.
And Swanson, who saw a four-fight winning streak snapped and his title aspirations slipping away, was off to testing the market.
“You’ve got to have tough skin when you’re going around, because you’ve got to kind of figure out what you’re worth at that time and depend on what organizations – it takes a lot of homework,” Swanson said. “We talked to literally everybody. And everybody had interest in me.
“But I think a lot of guys are coming out of the UFC on losses, on multiple losses, like they got cut. They’re not able to ask for as much money and things like that. So I think a lot of companies weren’t really prepared to make me a big offer.”
But there was one offer that enticed Swanson enough to get close. And though he won’t say which one, he said it wasn’t Bellator.
“I was really close to signing with a company,” Swanson said. “I was really thinking hard about it. Me and my manager talked about it. I said, ‘Man, I really would like to be with the UFC, and I don’t like how this has all been playing out because I just wish that they would hit me with a number that I felt comfortable with and be happy to push forward.’”
The new UFC offer, Swanson said, came “literally” the next day.
“They called me and said, ‘Hey, we want to offer you a better deal than we talked about originally, but we also want you to take this fight,’” Swanson said. “I was like, ‘Cool, let’s do it.’”
Swanson said he appreciates the respect he was given by all the different promotions he talked to during his free agency. But ultimately, he still had “unfinished business” to take care of in the octagon. That starts with Edgar.
“I felt like I was on such a roll (when we first fought),” Swanson said. “I was expecting to fight for a title, and then they wanted me to fight him. It just didn’t go my way. He was great that night. And I felt like he was the better fighter that night, by far.
“But I learned a lot from that loss. And I feel like I’ve been working for years on how to get better on those things.”
To hear more from Swanson, check out the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Cub Swanson was 'really close' to signing with a company (not Bellator) before new UFC offer