UFC Fight Night 57 Fight Breakdown: Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson

cub-swanson The main event of UFC Fight Night 57 is a five-round featherweight bout between Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Edgar is a -240 favorite (bet $240 to win $100) while Swanson is a +200 underdog (bet $100 to win $200). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Edgar at -190 and Swanson at +150, and the betting public is all over the favorite Edgar so far. This is a close fight and at the current odds I like Swanson to pull off the upset. Here’s why. Edgar (17-4-1) is the former UFC lightweight champion and one of the top featherweights in the game. The 33-year-old American is 11-4-1 in the UFC with wins over the likes of BJ Penn (x3), Gray Maynard, and Charles Oliveira. A long-time lightweight fighter, Edgar is 1-2 since dropping down to 145lbs with wins over Penn and Oliveira and his lone loss coming to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. In fact, I’d argue Edgar gave Aldo his toughest matchup to date in the UFC outside of Chad Mendes’ recent performance. Along with Aldo, Edgar’s losses have only come to the cream of the crop, with two controversial decision losses to Benson Henderson and a decision loss to Maynard back when “The Bully” was at the top of his game. Edgar is getting up there in age now and he has taken a lot of damage in his career, but he looked absolutely fantastic his last time out against Penn. However, Penn is at the end of his career so that win has to be looked at in his context. As far as skills go, Edgar is a tremendous wrestler who has routinely taken down bigger fighters throughout his career. He has an excellent, volume-based boxing attack with underrated knockout power. He also has fantastic footwork and arguably the best cardio in the business. He is clearly one of the top featherweights in the world and with a win over Swanson could be in line for another title shot against Aldo. He enters the fight as the favorite and it makes sense to respect Edgar in this spot, but at the same time this is a dangerous matchup and it could potentially be a recipe for disaster for the former lightweight kingpin. Swanson (21-5) is one of the top featherweight contenders in the UFC. The 31-year-old American is 6-1 in the UFC with wins over Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira, Ross Pearson, Dennis Siver, Dustin Poirier and George Roop and his only loss in the Octagon came against Ricardo Lamas. Since the loss to Lamas, which was over three years ago, Swanson has looked nothing short of incredible and if he beats Edgar he will be deserving of a title shot. Earlier in his career, particularly back when he was in the WEC, he looked like he was going to be nothing more than a run-of-the-mill 145er. But credit to him as he’s improved exponentially over the years, working hard to improve his offensive boxing, takedown defence, and striking defence. Right now, he’s arguably the heaviest hitter at 145lbs, which is saying a lot, and not many guys are lining up to fight Swanson. He has a bunch of great wins strung together and has tons of momentum heading into this fight with Edgar, which outside of his eight-second knockout loss to Jose Aldo in the WEC, is the most difficult fight of his career. He does have the tools to win, though. If he can stop Edgar’s takedowns and keep this fight on the feet, he can absolutely knock Edgar out. It won’t be easy, but for my money Swanson is definitely a live dog, and I think he has a great chance to upset Edgar and earn the biggest win of his life. This fight comes down to whether or not Edgar can recover from Swanson’s power punches, because I really do think Swanson is going to hit him hard, and probably even drop him in the first round. Edgar has been hit very hard before and recovered — see the Maynard fights and the upkick in the first Henderson fight — but at some point that ability to recover from getting punched in the head is going to disappear, and I think this is the fight you see it happen. I am a huge fan of Edgar and it’s not easy to pick against him, but, with his improvements, I really feel like Swanson has all the ingredients to earn an upset win here and probably get the next shot at the UFC featherweight title. I believe Swanson can KO Edgar, but even if he doesn’t I think he can do enough over the course of five rounds to get a decision. I agree Edgar should be favored heading into the fight, but only slightly as I believe it’s a very close matchup on paper. The line appears off to me, and at +200, I am going to be making a play on Swanson to come through with the biggest win of his career as the underdog.

Written by Adam Martin.

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