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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Cub Swanson after disappointing bantamweight debut?

UFC Fight Night: Swanson v Martinez Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC Vegas 62 went down inside UFC Apex last Sat. night (Oct. 15, 2022) in Las Vegas, Nevada, leaving several fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Viviane Araujo, who was jabbed up by Alexa Grasso all night long en route to losing a unanimous decision (recap here).

And Misha Cirkunov, who suffered his fourth straight loss inside the Octagon after he was knocked out by Alonzo Menifield in the very first round (see the highlights here). But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Cub Swanson.

Coming into his bantamweight debut against Jonathan Martinez, the future UFC Hall of Famer was hoping to kick things off with a bang and build on the momentum he had coming off a “Performance of the Night”-winning fight against Darren Elkins in December.

After nearly getting finished in the closing moments of the opening frame, Swanson had no answer for Martinez’s leg kicks in round number two. He was peppered repeatedly and dropped twice before one big shot to the inside of his leg ultimately sent him crashing to the canvas in pain, prompting the official on duty to put an end to the fight after a few more follow up shots.

While Swanson was radio silent after the loss — much like he was during his pre-fight media duties — Martinez had plenty to say, explaining why a knockout win was so satisfying given Cub’s pre-fight antics.

“The only thing was it kind of felt disrespectful when he had his interview and he didn’t say nothing,” Martinez said at the UFC Vegas 62 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “I had that all week. He’s looking at me like I’m nobody. I had to go in there and make a statement.”

It’s not the way Swanson expected his first fight at 135 pounds to go, as he will now have to go back to the drawing board to see if he stays there or moves back up to featherweight, where he is 3-5 over his last eight fights.

If he does stay at bantamweight, he will have his work cut out for him if he ever wants to crack the Top 15 because it is one of the deepest divisions in the company. As for what could be next or Swanson, I don’t anticipate UFC matchmakers giving him someone whose name carries a ton of weight.

That being said, a showdown against someone like Raulian Paiva makes sense. Paiva is currently riding a two-fight losing streak, dropping back-to-back outings to Sean O’Malley and Sergey Morozov. While it’s not exactly a high-profile matchup Swanson would prefer, those are the cards he will most likely get dealt until he starts winning some fights and proving himself in a new division.

For complete UFC Vegas 62 results and coverage click here.

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