In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 25, we saw Cub Swanson (27-12) take on Giga Chikadze (13-2). Chikadze was looking to remain unbeaten inside the octagon while Cub Swanson was looking to pick up his third straight victory.
A couple of years ago, the UFC future for Cub Swanson looked extremely cloudy. Swanson had taken on some of the best in the sport, but he had lost four fights in a row. Regardless of competition, that’s not a good look within the UFC.
With his back against the wall, Swanson took on Kron Gracie and pulled off a decision win. Then, at UFC 256, he stopped Daniel Pineda and looked sensational. The two wins put him back in the rankings for this matchup against Chikadze.
Going into this fight, I didn’t like the matchup for Swanson. Chikadze is one of the best pure strikers in the promotion and I wasn’t sure if Swanson could get the fight to the mat. Well, he didn’t even have the chance to on Saturday night.
The UFC Vegas 25 co-main event was over almost as soon as it started. Immediately, Chikadze came out and was throwing heat. Just about a minute into the first round, a devastating body kick put Swanson down and Chikadze followed up with a few shots for the TKO win.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 25?
As mentioned, this was a very tough matchup for Swanson stylistically. For the UFC it was a great win to vault Chikadze into a fight with better competition, but it’s a tough loss for the veteran Cub Swanson.
Despite the loss, I think Cub Swanson still has plenty to give in the UFC’s featherweight division. With that, what should the promotion do with Swanson next? Well, they might put him in a similar position for his next fight.
In thinking about the featherweight division, I think a fight that makes sense is one with Charles Jourdain (11-3-1). Jourdain had a lot of hype coming into the UFC and the 25 year old has struggled a bit.
Since making the switch, he’s gone 2-2-1 in his five fights inside the octagon. Now, in March he got a TKO win over Marcelo Rojo. A quick way to build his momentum back would be defeating a guy like Cub Swanson.
On the flip side, if Swanson is able to turn away someone like Jourdain, we might see him inch closer to the rankings once again. Any non-ranked contender would work, but I personally like the matchup with Jourdain.