Cub Swanson scored another big win June 22 when he stopped Ross Pearson in the second round of their matchup at UFC on FX 4.
The 28-year-old has now won three of his last four, and his recent performances have sparked debate over whether he’s finally living up to the expectations he built early in his career.
Trainer Greg Jackson thinks the sky is the limit for Swanson. During a recent interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show,” Jackson said his fighter could eventually be “really, really, really good.”
“I have 100-percent faith in that kid,” Jackson added. “… He’s not all the way improved yet. He’s just starting to really improve. There’s a lot more that that guy can do, and I’m excited to see where he can go.”
In January, Swanson stopped George Roop in an impressive showing at UFC on Fox 2. In that fight and against Pearson as well he was aggressive on the feet and displayed a variety of attacks.
“It’s hard work,” Jackson said. “He’s here all the time. He also trains in Palm Springs as well with Joel [Diaz] and Antonio [Diaz] and all the great guys out there at his boxing gym. Those guys are amazing. They’re really helping out a bunch too. I can’t give those guys enough credit. They’re really, really great boxing instructors. They’re helping out and then here, [Mike] Winkeljohn, myself, all the coaches -- [Swanson] is just here and he just keeps trying and learning, and if he has a setback, he doesn’t let it get to him. He gets right back on and does it again.”
Swanson has had numerous setbacks in his career. Most notably, he broke his hands and had his jaw wired shut. Besides fighting through his frequent injuries, he’s also made significant improvements in the gym.
“It’s just about trying to get him to be aggressive, trying to get him to flow and to kind of stay in there and the little things, channeling his aggression in the right way, and then a lot of technical stuff too of course,” Jackson said. “… It’s a process. It’s not an easy process, it’s not a quick process. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s a light switch, but a lot of times it’s a process that takes a while, and he’s just starting to turn his corner. He’s coming into his own.”
The way Swanson is improving, it’s not unrealistic to imagine him getting another 145-pound title shot one day. He’s already fought the UFC champion, Jose Aldo, and although the fight didn’t go well for Swanson, Jackson likes the idea of an eventual rematch.
“As he continues to evolve and as he continues to grow and add more tools to his arsenal, certainly we’re in it to try to get to be the world champion,” Jackson said. “I certainly hope we get another shot at [Aldo] when he’s ready. We’ll see. If he keeps winning and doing spectacularly, like his last two fights have been against very good opponents, I’m sure he’ll earn that right. We’ll just make sure we have all the tools and we’re ready when it’s that time.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 16:33).