Cub Swanson and Doo Ho Choi engaged in a Fight of the Year contender at UFC 206, with the veteran featherweight Swanson taking a hard-fought decision over “The Korean Superboy.” Swanson poured on the punishment in round 3, nearly finishing Choi on multiple occasions, but the fight astonishingly lasted the full 15 minutes.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Swanson expressed his concern over neither the referee nor Choi’s corner coming in to stop the fight. (Transcription by MMA Fighting)
“I knew I was doing a lot of damage and I wish his corner would have thrown in the towel,” Swanson said. “Especially in the third, I could see it in his face, he was in there with all heart. He’s a young, talented fighter taking damage like that.”
Officially, FightMetric listed no knockdowns scored for either Swanson or Choi, but Choi was badly hurt and dropped to the mat in the closing seconds of the 3rd.
“There were a few times hitting him with flurries where I was like ‘Jesus,’ I turned my head for a second [toward the referee] and was thinking, like, ‘are you going to stop this?’ When you look back, you think he’s already there, and I was like ‘man, he won’t go down.’”
Swanson believes that there should be more corner stoppages in MMA, which is a rarity in the sport. Earlier this year, Ben Nguyen’s corner threw in the towel just as Herb Dean moved in to stop Louis Smolka’s massive beatdown of Nguyen at UFC Sioux Falls. In June 2015, at UFC 188, Trevor Wittman called off Nate Marquardt’s fight with Kelvin Gastelum at the end of round 2, but wanted to stop it sooner.
“You almost need somebody to say, look, another day, in boxing that happens all the time,” Swanson said. The coaches will say I’ll give you one more round, if it looks the same I’m not going to allow you to keep going out and taking damage. On one hand, he was still in the fight, but on the other hand, at the end of the fight I went to pick him up and he didn’t even seem like he knew where he was. I was like, I let go and I was kind of confused and they pulled me away. He was out of it.”
The MMA Hour interview with Swanson begins at the 29:50 mark of the video.