While his current track leaves him as one of the most accomplished competitors never to win an Ultimate Fighting Championship title, Cub Swanson can rest easy knowing he has spent nearly two decades entertaining the masses with clockwork dependability.
Swanson has compiled a 28-12 record across 40 appearances in four organizations, most notably World Extreme Cagefighting and the UFC. His extensive resume features 17 finishes—13 by knockout or technical knockout, four others by submission—and includes victories over Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Jeremy Stephens, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Doo Ho Choi and a host of others. Swanson last competed at UFC Fight Night 199, where he cut down Darren Elkins with a wheel kick and follow-up punches in the first round of their Dec. 18 pairing.
As Swanson awaits word on his next assignment from UFC matchmakers, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He got off to an inauspicious start.
Swanson made his professional mixed martial arts debut at the age of 20 on July 25, 2004, and it did not go according to plan. He submitted to a rear-naked choke from Shannon Gugerty just 30 seconds into their pairing at a Total Combat event in Tijuana, Mexico. However, Swanson rebounded to win his next 11 bouts—a run that included a technical knockout of Gugerty a little less than two years later.
2. The hurt business has put plenty of food on his table.
Swanson has been awarded 13 post-fight bonuses during his time in the WEC and the UFC: 10 for “Fight of the Night,” two for “Knockout of the Night” and one for “Performance of the Night.” Those efforts have resulted in a total haul of roughly $500,000.
3. He has been a steadying presence.
Evidence of Swanson’s staying power, consistency and reliability can be found all over the UFC record book. He ranks second on the promotion’s all-time featherweight list in appearances (21), second in knockouts (six), second in significant strikes landed (1,319), third in wins (13), third in finishes (six), third in total fight time (4:15:34), third in knockdowns landed (nine), third in total strikes landed (1,517), third in takedown accuracy (54.6%), seventh in significant strike accuracy (51.2%) and 10th in strikes landed per minute (5.16). Swanson has fought at least once in 18 consecutive calendar years.
4. His setbacks have generally come against top-flight opposition.
The 11 men who have defeated Swanson—Gugerty, Jens Pulver, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, Frankie Edgar (twice), Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, Renato Carneiro, Shane Burgos and Giga Chikadze—own a combined record of 216-73 (.747). Four of the 11 are former UFC champions.
5. He has a softer side.
Swanson married model and television host Kenda Perez in 2018. They have three children: daughter Royal and identical twin sons Saint and King.
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