In a year that has seen many an undefeated fighter lose their 0, some wondered if Brian Ortega’s perfect record would be the next to go up in smoke. The veteran brawler Cub Swanson was hoping to make that happen. However, it was ‘T-City’ who came out on top; keeping his place in the UFC’s winners’ only club.
What was the high point of the fight?
After finishing the first round with Swanson deep in a D’arce choke, it was clear that Ortega’s submission game would be a constant threat for the rest of the fight.
Although, it was a little surprising that ‘T-City’ delivered on that threat so soon. Minutes into the second, after eating some stiff punches to the body, Ortega upped his urgency; swarming Swanson into the fence. After his opponent ducked his head — only slightly -- Ortega pounced with a guillotine.
With his arm around Swanson’s throat, Ortega pulled guard. With Ortega’s entire weight hanging down around his neck, Swanson had two options; tap or go to sleep. Swanson yielded, and there’s no shame in that.
Where do these two go from here?
The 26-year-old Ortega just put in the most impressive performance, against the highest ranked opponent, of his career. On the mic, the humble charity-minded Ortega made vague reference to a match-up with Conor McGregor. Yeah, that’s not happening.
Ortega’s second quasi-call out was to the winner of a fight between UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and perennial contender Frankie Edgar. Despite the plaudits he’ll earn tonight, it seems unlikely Ortega will land a title shot next time out. More plausible is that he’ll get the opportunity to leapfrog another high ranked 145er.
Swanson was knocking on the door of a title shot himself, thanks to a 4-fight win streak, his seniority in the promotion/division, and reliable knack for putting on fun fights. The result will knock him way back from title contention (even though he looked great early on). Expect to see him back on a main card soon, though. He’ll probably square off with a 10-15 ranked featherweight known to stand and bang like him.
Watch it now, later or never?
Watch it now. It was a competitive fight, with Swanson getting the better of Ortega on the feet early on. But what really makes this fight must-see are the two submissions thrown up by Ortega that were worthy of winning the fight; the D’arce that was saved by the bell, and the highly technical guillotine that got the job done.