Exclusive: Cub Swanson
By Dave Carpinello
PDG: Let’s start with your fight coming up on December 12th against Jens Pulver. What do you see as your strengths and his weaknesses?
Cub: My biggest strength is that I am always well conditioned. I have a lot of weapons and I train in every discipline. My weaknesses are always getting better and Jens never works on his. He only works on his strengths so his weaknesses only get weaker. I would say that he is on his way out and that I am going to whoop him. That is my prediction.
PDG: Do think the fight will be more stand-up or on the mat?
Cub: I think it is going to be one of those fights that goes everywhere. A lot of punches and a lot of scrambling.
PDG: Did it bother you that your 1st scheduled fight with Pulver back in September was cancelled on short notice?
Cub: I think Jens just didn’t train hard and when he realized that. He wanted to start over. I have been training for this fight now since July and it angered me very much that we didn’t fight. My job and my life right now is fighting and I don’t think it is right that another fighter can toy with it like that. I keep hearing that he was getting Yes it did bother me a lot. It bothered me because I did everything that I was supposed to do. I trained like a professional athlete and took the fight serious. I was ready to go and he got injured. Whether or not it was a real injury I cannot answer that. I doubt it was real though because a torn ACL doesn’t heal that fast. MRI’s done on his knee and yet I never heard about any of the results. You know……Where are they?
PDG: Speaking of your training. What is your schedule like and what other fighters are you training with?
Cub: and the fighters that work with him. Including guys like I train hard and that is all I want to say about my schedule. Jens better be ready this time. I train in Orange County, California with Erik Paulson and for this fight I have been training with Joe Stevenson, Tyson Griffin and Grey Maynard. They are all great guys to train with. They really push me hard and I will be training with a few other fighters specifically for this fight.
PDG: Sounds like a good line-up. What did you think of Paulson’s comeback fight a couple of weeks ago?
Cub: I was proud of him. He is always itchin’ to fight and I knew he would win. Erik is just way too good to go in and lose to someone that is that inexperienced. I was happy for him and I know that he felt real good. I don’t know if he will fight again but if he does I’m sure he will do real well. He is an amazing instructor and fighter.
PDG: You mentioned that fighting is your job. How is WEC as an employer?
Cub: They are awesome and it feels good to be treated like an athlete. The WEC cares more about the fighters than just lining their pockets with money. They take care of the little things that count and the stability of the organization is nice.
PDG: Let’s step away from the cage for a minute. You have more tattoos than most people. If you had to pick one that meant the most to you; which one would it be?
Cub: I would have to say the whole back piece. It is almost finished; basically it is my last name with the crucifixion and angels coming down to battle demons. That is kind of like my whole life in a nutshell. I am all about my family and I grew up in the church and believe in god. Life is a constant struggle between making the right decisions and the wrong ones. I have done a lot of bad things in my life and all that I think about now is doing good things. I have been working with kids and that is something that I want to do a lot more of. Before I was fighting I was working for United Cerebral Palsy, helping special needs kids and it was very rewarding.
PDG: You talk about before you became professional fighter. How does one go from playing college soccer to fighting in a cage?
Cub: Back in the day fighting was more about the different styles and now it more about the individual athletes. Soccer is all about the conditioning when you get up to the higher levels of competition. I would play up to seven 1 ½ hour games in one weekend when my team was in a tournament. Over time it also allowed me to develop a strong competitive spirit. Just ask my girlfriend….. I don’t ever let her win at anything. Then when I started training MMA I loved it and I started training hard. You work hard at anything and you’ll get good at it.
PDG: Since the start of your career with 11 wins in 12 fights. What fight was your best?
Cub: I would say that there has been a couple with different reasons for each one. The Micah Miller fight had good timing as it was one of the first televised WEC fights and most fans hadn’t seen me before that. It was a great fight and featured two completely different styles. The Charlie Valencia fight was good because he beat me up most of the fight and I was able to come back and get the win. In my fight with Mike Corey he threw me around and put me on my back where I was able to stop him with strikes. All three of those fights tested my heart to make sure I had it.
PDG: Your upcoming fight with Pulver will be your 13th fight in just over three year’s time. It that the pace that you want to continue at or are you going to slow down a bit?
Cub: Oh no…. I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to have four fights this year. I want to average four fights per year. Three fights a year is not enough. I should have already fought Pulver and have a new opponent for December.
PDG: Also on the December 12th card is a title match between Urijah Faber and Jeff Curran. Will the winner of your fight with Jens get a shot at the winner of their fight?
Cub: I think that my fight is the unofficial number 1 contender match. I am pretty sure the winner of my fight with Pulver gets a shot at the championship.
PDG: Who do you think will win that fight?
Cub: I have seen Curran fight a lot of guys and he is real good. I think he could beat Urijah but I don’t think it is going to happen. I say Urijah takes it because of his high caliber wrestling background.
PDG: I appreciate your time today and good luck on December 12th.
Cub: Thank you for the interview.