"I definitely feel I have calmed down a little bit because of how comfortable I am. The nerves aren't quite there anymore. It feels like home to me now, but I am gonna be a little reckless, but everything is very calculated. Some of the reckless stuff I do is to keep people off game. I don't want people catching my rhythm and where they don't know what's coming from me...I'm ready and I'm here to stay," stated UFC featherweight Cub Swanson, who talked about his recent KO victory over Charles Oliveira at UFC 152, his future plans, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on your knockout win over Charles Oliveira that earned you some bonus money. How do you feel about your performance?
CS: I can't complain. It was a good fight. It went exactly like it played out in my mind and everything seemed to be in place. It seems to be my time right now.
PC: Looking at this fight on paper, I believe you came in with 3 wins all by knockout and he came in with 3 wins all by submission. Did you come into this fight thinking this was the classic grappler vs. striker matchup?
CS: Kind of; on paper, it looks that way. But he is somebody who has really worked his kickboxing and I'm somebody who has a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu. So on paper, it looks that way, but in reality, it wasn't.
PC: Did you think his reach and length would become a factor in the fight or did you feel you could close that distance and make him fight your fight or catch him at some point?
CS: I felt like as soon as I caught my rhythm and distance, then it wouldn't be an issue. I mean, I prepared for a taller opponent, so I expected it and I knew what I was getting into and I felt once I got comfortable with the way the fight was going, that I was gonna unleash and that I would put him down.
PC: I feel that you were at some times reckless to a fault, and now it appears that although you are still very aggressive, you have calmed the recklessness somewhat. Do you feel that's where your success is coming from now?
CS: I feel like me being comfortable in there is huge. I definitely feel I have calmed down a little bit because of how comfortable I am. The nerves aren't quite there anymore. It feels like home to me now, but I am gonna be a little reckless, but everything is very calculated. Some of the reckless stuff I do is to keep people off game. I don't want people catching my rhythm and where they don't know what's coming from me.
PC: I noticed Joel Diaz, who is Timothy Bradley's trainer and a very underrated trainer in my opinion. How much has he helped you with your standup?
CS: I've been working with Joel for almost 4 years now. He's just kind of quietly been in my corner for a long time now, and between him and Greg Jackson and everyone at the Jackson camp, I couldn't ask for better sparring partners and a better team.
PC: You shot down the notion that Greg Jackson is a safe coach before this fight. You have never been in a boring fight. Do you think that's just a bad rap he gets because of the way a few of GSP'S fights have ended, and some other guys?
CS: Yeah, I think that's people's interpretation of it. Greg is always walking around the gym barking, "We finish fights. This is what we do!" That's always the way it is. He never says play it safe. He has never ever said that to me or anybody. Sometimes fighters get in there and they feel like they can win a certain way and they get nervous before they get in there sometimes. It doesn't mean coaches gave them a game plan to do that. We are fighting the toughest guys in the world and not every fight is going to be a finish.
PC: You have always stressed to me that you want to be in fights where guys are gonna want to fight. Oliveira didn't really guarantee that because he's more calculated than a risk taker. When he was named as your opponent, did you fear he could make this thing a snoozer, or did you think you could make him fight the kind of fight you are used to being in?
CS: At first, I was asked about it before the Pierson fight, and I asked for the Pierson fight and they seemed a little bit surprised, but that's the fight that I wanted. And then after I was able to get through that fight, I got approached about this one again and I was kind of worried that he would make it a boring fight, and that was a reason I was iffy about taking it. But I knew that I needed to fight every kind of style and really show my skills and see that I can fight all of these guys. That way, if everything goes my way and I can become a champion, I know that I'm fully capable of fighting against every kind of style.
PC: Most tall fighters either leave their jab out there too long and they are open for the overhand right, or they back out with their head straight up in the air. Did you see he would be vulnerable to either one of those scenarios?
CS: I knew the body was going to be open because he does real traditional Muay Thai, which I have not been a fan of it lately here. In MMA, I think you should use more of a hybrid style. He's got that real traditional style, which I know from being in a boxing gym if your elbows are that high, you can get dropped to the body (laughing). So I wanted to dig to the body. I knew he would be tall and skinny and I wanted to dig to his body, and if I wasn't able to put him down, then I would be able to come back up to the head. I knew he would be pulling back with his chin up. I knew it would either be like a lunging left hook or an overhand right that would put him down.
PC: He had a delayed reaction, but you didn't pounce on him, so you must have really felt it when you landed?
CS: Yeah, wellÂ…right when I hit him, he kinda squinted, so I thought I maybe broke his orbital bone. I knew it hit hard and I waited for a second because he's dangerous, and he might even play possum sometimes and try to get me to jump on top of him so he can get a leg and get a submission. I knew that he was going to backpedal and try to recover, so I wanted to see which direction he was going to go before I rushed in. I was trying to keep a safe distance, like a perfect striking distance, and he just ended up going down completely, and once I saw him hit the ground, I knew he was done, so there was no need to hit him anymore.
PC: How soon would you like to come back? There are talks of title shot, do you feel you are ready for Jose Aldo again?
CS: I do feel like I'm ready for that fight. That's a fight I want, but I'm sure that they will have me fight one more. And at this point, I have no real choice but to take a break. Everybody seems to be matched up at the time, injured or matched up, so there are no real fights for me right now. I'm actually trying to enjoy a little bit of time off. I have been going 9 years strong, so I'm trying to enjoy the rest.
PC: Again, congrats on the win. That was a helluva knockout. Is there anything else you want to say before I let you go?
CS: Thanks for always having me on the site and thanks to everybody for always supporting me through my ups and downs. I'm ready and I'm here to stay!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]