This past weekend (July 6, 2014), Frankie Edgar demolished BJ Penn at “The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19: Edgar vs. Penn III” Finale.
Edgar’s Las Vegas performance not only earned him his second straight win at featherweight, but also pushed him ahead of Cub Swanson in the 145 pound rankings, landing him at No. 2 on the ladder and pushing the surging Swanson – six fight winning streak – down one spot to No. 3.
Post his “Sin City Win,” the former lightweight champion and featherweight title challenger appears to be looking behind him to Swanson for his next assignment, and not directly ahead of him, for the winner of the (now) postponed UFC 176 title fight between Champion Jose Aldo and No. 1 ranked Chad Mendes.
As reported on this evening’s edition of UFC Tonight (July 9, 2014), Edgar is interested in taking on Swanson and sees the match as the one that makes the most sense. With the pair ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, and given that the Aldo vs. Mendes II fight is booked and on hold, Edgar is right. Edgar vs. Swanson is the logical fight for the UFC to put together, as it would provide a clear cut challenger to the winner of the class’s next title fight.
However, as much sense as the fight might make to “The Answer,” it doesn’t seem to be impressing Swanson in the same way. Although the 30-year-old Swanson said that he wouldn’t turn the fight down, he also indicated that he’s more interested in a title fight than a title challenge match.
Swanson in comment to UFC Tonight :
"I was told my (next) fight would be for a belt. I don't think he has one of those, but I wouldn't mind punching him."
Indeed, UFC President Dana White did say last week (July 2, 2014) that Swanson would “get what he wants.” However, if what Sanson wants is a title fight, then he could be sitting on the shelf until 2015.
On the other hand, a match with Edgar would keep him busy, solidify his title shot claim, and perhaps more importantly, put money in his pocket. For “The Answer” it would accomplish the same goals.
As such, and given the current landscape of the division vis-à-vis the Aldo vs. Mendes III postponement, fans shouldn’t be surprised to see Edgar vs. Swanson being booked in the next few weeks, and probably for a card in late November or early December.