Cub Swanson didn’t have the best opening round in his UFC 162 featherweight matchup against Dennis Siver, but trainer Greg Jackson knew he would be just fine.
“Siver set a really high pace in that first round,” Jackson told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He really tried to control and outmuscle Cub, and that’s hard to keep up.”
Swanson wound up on the bottom early after missing a kick. Caught underneath the powerfully built Siver, he stayed composed and defended well. His speed advantage on the feet then grew obvious in the second round, and in the third he finished the bout with punches.
“I have a lot of confidence in Cub,” Jackson said. “When you’re [as big as Siver], it’s hard to keep blood and oxygen going to those muscles the way you need to. Ultimately I think that’s kind of what slowed Siver down a little bit. If you’re going to set a high pace and you’ve got that much mass, it can be detrimental. Siver’s very tough. He’s very good, but Cub’s just really coming into his own and stepping up to that next level.”
Swanson has won five straight in the UFC. Four of those wins have been finishes via punches.
“He’s always been very creative,” Jackson said. “I think you just need people to help you focus that creativity, put it in the right context at the right time, those kinds of things. I think that Cub is creative; he just needed parameters to be creative within, and that would push him to the next level. He’s really starting to believe in his power and believe in himself and getting a lot more confident in his fighting ability. He’s just coming into his own. It’s just his time.”
By beating Siver, Swanson climbed another rung on the featherweight ladder. At this point, he has to be closing in on title contention. Jackson thinks he’s ready for a shot now.
“I think he’s got enough elements and the coaching now and kind of putting everything together, so absolutely,” Jackson said. “I think he’s ready anytime the UFC is.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:01:31).