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Cub Swanson: ‘I felt like I was going to die’ from Brian Ortega’s choke

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Cub Swanson describes what it felt like to be stuck in Brian Ortega’s guillotine.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Fresno-Swanson vs Ortega Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Cub Swanson had a lot riding on his bout with Brian Ortega this past weekend in Fresno. It was the last fight on his contract, and a win would have left him much closer to an elusive title shot. Instead, Ortega managed to finish him with a brutal guillotine choke in the second round.

When asked about the choke at the event’s post-fight press conference, Swanson didn’t mince words (via MMA Fighting):

“I felt like I was going to die.”

In the first round of the fight, Swanson implemented a strong striking game for the first four and a half minutes. Ortega managed to secure an anaconda choke though, and it looked dicey for Swanson. He described how he was able to get out of the round in that situation:

“It was getting tight and then loosening up, getting tight and then loosening up,” Swanson said. “He was making adjustments, I was fighting it. I was doing all the things I needed to do to create space. Luckily the bell rang, but I felt like I was going to get out.”

He wasn’t as lucky in the second though. After Ortega pushed him against the fence, he snatched up a guillotine and jumped onto his opponent. Swanson explained what happened from his side of things:

“It was tight right away. He had like a lock, you know? And then I was fighting him and kind of shaking him, and he only had like one hand. I grabbed his arm and his wrist and I felt OK. And then he grabbed his hand and I felt like I could still pull out, and then he readjusted. I felt his legs get a little higher on my body. And then it crushed my head, and then its like, I just flared up. I panicked.”

Ortega picked up the win at 3:22 of the second round. The slick sub earned “T-City” a $50,000 dollar performance bonus, in addition to the other $50,000 he and Swanson got for the Fight of the Night.