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Cub Swanson on UFC title shot snub: ‘Maybe they don’t think that highly of me’

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Swanson vs Lobov Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Aldo got an unexpected opportunity to rematch Max Holloway for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight title at UFC 218 on Dec. 2, 2017, in Detroit, Mich., after Frankie Edgar was forced out of the bout with an injury. The move — though applauded by many -- was questioned by some, as there are those in the combat world who felt the title fight would’ve gone to Cub Swanson, who is currently riding a four-fight win streak and hasn’t tasted defeat since losing to “Blessed” back in 2015.

Especially since Holloway recently handed Aldo a knockout loss.

While Swanson admits he was bummed out at not getting the shot and can see why they went with Aldo given his pedigree, he says he wasn’t holding his breath it’d be him, though he did contact UFC officials about stepping in. Still, what bothers him the most is that there wasn’t even a discussion to have him considered as replacement.

With one fight left on his current UFC contract, the fact that he was passed over once again has him wondering if he will ever get a title shot should he re-sign.

“I am going to get paid the most if I fight for a title or hold a title. That’s when the big opportunities come, but I haven’t had that opportunity,” Holloway said on a recent edition of “The MMA Hour.” “I wanted to fight out my contract to see what other companies were going to offer me and be able to show UFC like, ‘Look, I’m worth is, step it up.’ I want to fight in UFC, I love it. But, I also want to be taken care and show what I’m worth and I want to to be appreciated, I like that. I’m old school.”

For Swanson, the fact that he’s put in work inside the Octagon for six years now — and 10 overall with the former Zuffa-owned promotion — only to see others get multiple title shots, is a tough pill to swallow.

“I’m looking back at all the people that have gotten title fights — Chad Mendes got multiple, Frankie Edgar has gotten multiple, Aldo multiple, Korean Zombie got one out of nowhere, Ricardo Lamas got one. All the people at the top have all gotten them. Max took forever to get one and I was very vocal about him deserving a title fight. I just don’t see why in 10 years with the company I couldn’t have gotten one. I feel like maybe they don’t think that highly of me.”

It’s a legit gripe, especially since Edgar earned yet another UFC title fight after only two straight wins following his most recent championship fight against Aldo a year ago.

Swanson says he’s never got a straight up answer from the promotion as to why he’s never received his shot other than “bad timing.” As far as his future, Swanson says he has spoken to Dana White and the outspoken president did genuinely tell him he wants to keep him with the promotion.

And while he appreciates his sincerity, Swanson admits getting passed over once again took some wind out of his sails. That said, he is fully focused on his upcoming bout against Brian Ortega at UFC Fight Night 123 on Dec. 9, 2017, in Fresno, California.

With a win, perhaps Swanson can score a new lucrative deal ... as well his his long overdue title shot.