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UFC Fight Night 123: Cub Swanson, ‘Fighter to Watch’ tonight in Fresno

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Dias vs Swanson Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Cub Swanson will try to prove to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) that he deserves a featherweight title shot with a win over undefeated contender Brian Ortega later tonight (Sat., Dec. 9, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 123 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.

As one of the more underutilized names on the roster, Swanson has been lobbying heavy for a shot at UFC gold. Despite his impressive promotional resume, which includes a 10-3 record and one stylish six-fight win streak, the 34-year-old feels like he’s been purposely skipped over in line for a title and given considerably tougher opponents compared to that of his fellow UFC stars.

Luckily for Swanson, who is willing to test free agency after his next Octagon outing, he’ll have the opportunity to further put the squeeze on UFC when he locks horns with Ortega. It will be Swanson’s third-straight fight against a rising prospect (Doo Ho Choi and Artem Lobov being the other two) and another chance to separate himself from the featherweight pack.

While the 145-pound division will always offer suitable contenders, now is the time for Swanson to make his final push. With top contender Frankie Edgar currently on the sidelines, Jose Aldo incapable of regaining his divisional footing, and former title challenger Ricardo Lamas busy with Josh Emmett later this month at UFC on FOX 26, Swanson may only need one more big win before getting his rematch with reigning UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

That said, Swanson must first get past the wily Ortega tonight at UFC Fight Night 123. And considering all three of Swanson’s UFC losses have come by way of submission, he better be mindful of the late-fight heroics Ortega offers. Swanson’s previous two defeats came in the last round of the fight, while Ortega has finished all four his most recent Octagon appearances in the third and final frame. Swanson must be able to show that he’s not only capable of pulling the strings against a hungry contender like Ortega, but also that he can fend him off down the stretch.

We will find out one way or another as Swanson goes for his fifth-straight win later this evening in Fresno. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 123 fight card, starting with the UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.

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