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UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold - Idiot's Guide Preview to Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway

David Castillo breaks down the three things you need to know about the Gareth Evans film, err, bout between Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway for UFC on Fox 15

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

An action film featherweight bout  for UFC on Fox looks to follow up VanZant vs. Herrig on April 18, 2015 at the Venue Prudential Center in City Newark, New Jersey.

The Match Up

Featherweight Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway

The Odds

Featherweight Cub Swanson -150 vs. Max Holloway +130

3 Things You Should Know

1. Cub Swanson has nothing to be ashamed of in losing to Frankie Edgar, but he better hurry if he wants a potential crack at the title.

In a rare moment of confidence, I stood by my belief that Edgar is still so awesome, and still so capable of beating guys like Swanson, who is essentially a poor man's Anthony Pettis. But even a poor man's Pettis can be showtime. Cub was the kind of fighter who always looked tough, and good, but never flashy, and durable. He's been mostly the latter in recent years, putting together impressive wins, and dramatic finishes over solid opponents like Dustin Poirier, Ross Pearson, and Charles Oliviera.

It's hard to say where he'd go from here if he won. Holloway's good, but still young, which means Swanson is still in the back of the line. With two fight of the night awards in his last two, expect another all out war against a fighter who will be all too willing to provide the sizzle.

2. Holloway was dropped too early into the fray to be called a prospect. But at 23 years of age, the division better recognize.

Holloway is currently on a 5 fight winning streak. While his opponents haven't been upper echelon, like Cole Miller, and Akira Corrasani,he's nonetheless doing what he should have been doing earlier on in his career. His losses are to Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez, and Conor McGregor. As they say on the internet, "lol!". It's kind of incredible given his age, and yet it's taken for granted that he's some sort of veteran, or opening bout attraction when in fact, he's possibly more than that. This fight will reveal whether or not he's ready to begin where he started.

3. Despite Swanson being the favorite, Holloway is the better paper match up.

It's impossible not to love everything about this fight. Swanson has always done such a great job of revealing that pugilistic flash of his in just enough small doses to keep from breaking his rhythm. He's unlike Pettis, who seems to manifest these tricks out of thin air. Swanson relies on a little blue collar primer before engaging in action film heroics. However, his overall game is enhanced by his sense of adventure. He's also become much better defensively.

His problem in the Edgar fight is that he's still prone to losing to superior wrestlers/grapplers. In addition to the fact that Egdar is simply a brilliant fighter. Cub's kicks are slowly becoming the most important part of his arsenal in my opinion. He's doing something Dillashaw does, ducking into them to avoid the easy counter. Holloway is capable of taking the bout to the ground despite this fight's reputation as a striker's only affair.

Max is another guy who does the flashy thing well; in fact, the whole concept of being "flashy" is being outmoded. No longer a signal of eccentricity, it's now an essential component of effectiveness. An outgrowth of MMA's inclination towards unpredictability.

I think Holloway's an interesting pick. He's incredibly tough, so I don't think Cub can break him. Whereas Cub has been known to break. While his lack of power will be a factor, I don't see it as being significant enough to deter Holloway from keeping pace, and breaking Cub's rhythm with the better technical display.


Max Holloway by Decision.