Cub Swanson would love to fight Frankie Edgar if he had a UFC title around his waist.
After retiring MMA legend BJ Penn at the The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale, Edgar is reportedly interested in fighting Swanson in a No. 1 contender’s bout to determine the next challenger for the featherweight title.
During Wednesday’s episode of UFC Tonight, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported that Edgar believes the fight makes sense in the wake of UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo’s injury and the division hanging in limbo.
When asked about a potential showdown with Edgar, Swanson didn’t back down from the challenge, but he did admit he would much rather get his opportunity to compete for a world title.
“I was told my fight would be for a belt. I don’t think [Edgar] has one of those,” Swanson told Helwani, per MMAFighting.com. “But I wouldn’t mind punching him.”
Swanson, who is currently riding a six-fight win streak, is coming off back-to-back Fight of the Night performances against Jeremy Stephens and Dennis Siver. It was initially believed that Swanson would be next in line to challenge for the title after his bout with Stephens in June.
“I'm very excited for his future. Cub's going to get what he wants, let's just put it that way,” said White.
The future of the division was pretty much mapped out.
Aldo would defend the title in a rematch against Chad Mendes at UFC 176, and the winner would move on to fight Swanson at a later date. But unfortunately for Swanson and Mendes, things haven’t worked out that way.
An injury during training camp forced Aldo to withdraw from the title bout altogether, and the UFC eventually had no choice but to scrap the entire pay-per-view card. The featherweight division is now being held hostage by news of Aldo’s return.
Mendes fully expects to get the first crack at the Brazilian when he returns. Would Swanson be willing to wait in line if Aldo ends up facing a lengthy layoff?
In any case, Edgar has likely chirped himself back into title contention.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.