Two of the best and brightest young featherweights in the world squared off yesterday (Feb. 16, 2013) as Cub Swanson battled Dustin Poirier in the co-main event of UFC on FUEL TV 7 in London, England.
Swanson was riding an impressive three fight winning streak, knocking out opponents in the second round of each bout, but he would be denied last night.
Thankfully for the Greg Jackson-trained fighter, he wouldn't be denied a victory.
Poirier was the aggressor early on, landing good low kicks while Swanson had some difficulty finding his range. Poirier also mixed in takedown attempts to keep Swanson guessing, but that all changed when Swanson threw a head kick followed by a beautiful uppercut straight up the middle that caught Poirier on the chin and hurt him badly.
"The Diamond" recovered, utilizing his wrestling to clear the cobwebs and hang on until the round ended.
Poirier got off to a better start in the second round, really getting his striking going and hurting Swanson, but the Southern California-native responded with some very impressive body shots, uppercuts and occasional head kicks. When the American Top Team fighter took Swanson down, he got back to his feet utilizing a sneaky omaplata attack which looked really slick.
In the third round, Poirier again hurt Swanson early but couldn't keep his advantage as Swanson responded with a takedown of his own. Once the Louisiana native got back to his feet, Swanson tossed him with an absolutely beautiful over the shoulder throw and advanced to his back, attacking with a potential choke attempt as well as trying to isolate the arm almost all the way until the final horn sounded to help him win the round and the very close fight via unanimous decision
For Dustin Poirier, he actually fought a pretty smart fight, mixing up his attack with low kicks, crisp punches and takedown attempts. Surprisingly, he more than held his own on the feet with Swanson, which seemed to be where he would have the biggest issues. That being said, while Poirier landed some good shots and rocked Swanson a couple times, it never felt like he was throwing his strikes with as much zip on them as Swanson did. Also, while he did a good job of working for takedowns, they weren't particularly effective as he had trouble taking the fight to to the ground or getting anything going even when he did put Swanson down.
Where Poirier really got in trouble was when Swanson turned the tables and took him down. He had some problems defending himself on the ground, really getting stuck in a precarious position after getting tossed.
For Cub Swanson, while his striking defense wasn't great, the adjustments he made throughout the fight and in each round were fantastic. Poirier covers up and hunches over? Time to throw uppercuts down the middle and punches to the body. Poirier shooting in for takedowns? Use his momentum against him by tossing him over your shoulder. This was a hard-fought and well-earned victory for Swanson.