On paper, Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi was always going to be a cracking fight and serve to play it’s part on UFC 206’s pay-per-view offering, but few could have imagined it would go down as one of the most exciting fights of all time.
Following a near career derailing 2015, which saw Swanson lose back-to-back fights for the first time in his career, the 33-year-old has turned it around this year, in what has turned into one of the comeback stories of 2016.
After wins against Hacran Dias and Tatsuya Kawajiri, Swanson took a unanimous decision victory over the much-hyped ‘Korean Superboy’ Doo Ho Choi at UFC 206 in Toronto, Canada, handing the 25-year-old his first loss in six years and in the process playing his part in a surefire contender for ‘Fight of the Year’.
Speaking in the post-fight press conference, Swanson was still shaking off the effects of the three-round war he had just endured and couldn’t yet fathom the magnitude of the praise he and Choi had received from across Planet MMA.
“I didn’t get hurt that bad – my head’s clear,” Swanson said. “But it was just so chaotic, I don’t remember the fight. Everybody’s just saying how great of a fight it was. I was like, ‘I guess it was if you guys keep saying it.’”
For Swanson, the win over Choi made a statement to his opponent and anyone else that thought he was done and not capable of hanging with the best anymore.
“All the film I watched on him, I was a fan of his before the fight,” Swanson said. “When he called me out, I thought it was a little disrespectful just because I felt like he only called me out because he thought I wasn’t as good as I used to be or something. It motivated me, and I was ready to come out here and prove him, and prove everyone else wrong.”
Both Swanson and Choi received a $50,000 bonus each for the official ‘Fight of the Night’, but the rewards may stop there as the confirmed shortlists for the Ninth Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards – MMA’s Oscars – are set to be announced on New Year’s Eve and undoubtedly Saturday’s feather dust-up is certainly forced it’s way into the mix.