Outside the Octagon with Cub Swanson

Courtesy of MMAFighting.com

By Curt Smith

We are starting a new segment, called Outside the Octagon. Each week, Curt Smith will focus on a different fighter, and explain who they are. He will attempt to focus more on who the fighter is outside the cage.

To the MMA world,  Cub Swanson is a fierce competitor in the UFC’s Featherweight division. He is currently ranked 6th and is coming off of a dominant victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri, back in August of this year. Swanson may not be a popular fighter among casual fans, but he has an interesting story of how he ended up being one of the best Featherweight mixed martial artists in the world today,  and perhaps has one title run left in him
Kevin “Cub” Swanson was born on November 2, 1983, in Palm Springs, California. He spent his childhood upbringing with both darkness and light. Cub’s father died three months after his birth. His mother suffered from such severe depression, that Cub was removed from her home and sent to live with a distant relative. This relative was very religious and felt it was best to raise Cub in church, teaching him the ways of God and the Bible. On top of church, his adoptive parents decided to home-school Cub, further sheltering him from the outside world. All was progressing well until his home life fell into turmoil once again. His adoptive parents divorced, sending Cub back to his biological Mother, who was unable to raise him earlier in life. This turning point in Cub’s teenage years would thrust him into life on the street. This would eventually lead up to his career in MMA.
 When Cub was sent back to his mother in Palm Springs, he began associating himself with the very same people from whom his adoptive parents tried to keep him from. It didn’t take Cub long to run with a gang and begin breaking the law. He started getting into multiple fights, which eventually led up to a 2 year stint in juvenile detention from the ages of 17-19. Cub refused the idea of his mother trying to hire an attorney to help reduce his burglary sentence. if at all possible. He swallowed his pride and served his two years diligently. After Cub was released from juvenile detention, he began to turn his life around and worked with the community. He started by volunteering to work with kids that were plagued with Cerebral Palsy. In addition to volunteer work, Cub began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He trained with former UFC fighter Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson before entering the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) organization. This would be another stepping stone in the long path of Swanson’s career. Eventually, in 2010, the WEC and UFC would merge, allowing the UFC to consume all of the talented fighters that the WEC was holding. This included a hungry, focused Cub Swanson.
Present Time 
Cub’s latest endeavor includes partnering up with current middleweight champion,  Michael Bisping, to open a UFC GYM in Costa Mesa, CA. The 18,000 square foot gym should be opened by the end of this year, and will include state of the art equipment and facilities including; an outdoor training area, a Jiu-Jitsu studio, traditional weight lifting equipment, as well as cardio machines among many others. Cub is hoping the investment will keep him financially secure, after many other fighters end up broke after long careers of fighting.
As it stands right now, Cub Swanson is 23-7 in his MMA career and 8-3 in the UFC. Swanson has beaten big names such as Ross Pearson, Dennis Siver, Jeremy Stephens and Charles Oliveira. Cub is knows as a high pressure fighters, that is well rounded. He is a creative striker that loves to add in spining strikes and cart-wheel kicks. HIs ground game is also very sharp, where Cub has a black belt in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.
 Even with having moderate success, Cub has never held a belt in the UFC. It’s something he wants dearly and the first step in getting a title shot is beating the Korean Wonderboy – Choi Doo-Ho. Choi is a young fighter with a lot of talent and hype. He is known as a striker with heavy one punch power. Stay tuned this Saturday for UFC 206,  to see what lies in Cub Swanson’s fate.


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