UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi: Ignoring the Matchmaking Narrative

Cub Swanson vs Doo Ho Choi All Out War

One of the oldest traditions in combat sports is the concept of matching a young, rising contender with an older fighter that seems to have slightly declined. Whilst not exactly the same, there was a feeling that this past Saturday’s Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi fight maybe following that old time-tested tradition.

Swanson was far from a past it fighter and that was roundly agreed, however, there were perhaps some signs that he was a little removed from the best run of his career.

Regardless, the argument isn’t always that the older fighter is completely shot but instead that there’s certain innate aggression and ambition that only a younger prospect can bring to the combat. Either way, the ideology has always been that it’s a smart way of having the younger fighter earn experience as well as gain some name value at the expense of the older fighter.

Early on it seemed that this clash of Featherweight contenders was going to follow that same narrative. The 25-year-old Choi jumped on the veteran immediately and it seemed that his more refined technique and straighter punches were problematic for the wilder Swanson.

Choi looked incredibly sharp early but fortunately, Swanson wasn’t prepared to just accept his spot as the gatekeeper only there to test his opposite, far from it. In fact, Swanson was still a highly motivated and ambitious fighter and that showed as he quickly adapted and began to have some success of his own as the first round came to a close.

It was a Choi round though even if Swanson had begun to figure out the youngster as the exchanges developed.

Taking Out Doo Hoo Choi

Swanson had seen enough to believe that he had a clear route to victory now though and came out aggressive at the start of round two, making a point of pushing Choi back. The results were almost instant as a right hand on the temple wobbled Choi badly. As he has done for so long, Swanson trusted his power and chased after Choi, dropping him to his knees with a huge flurry.

However, Choi wasn’t wilting mentally even if he was physically hurt and fired back, incredibly rocking Swanson before unleashing a wild onslaught in the hunt for what would’ve been a stunning finish.

Swanson’s experience advantage was prevalent though and it showed as he took Choi down to secure a chance to recover and rest. It would be brief though as the two dynamic strikers fought back to their feet and quickly continued trading knockout shots.

It was clear to everyone including Choi that the South Korean needed to be going forward to win this fight as he simply couldn’t cope with Swanson whilst on the back foot. However, moving forward wasn’t easy either and Swanson quickly halted Choi’s momentum by landing a hard right hand that sent the brave prospect reeling.

Once again, Swanson swarmed sensing the end but somehow Choi withstood the enormous attack even though all signs suggested that a finish was inevitable. Choi didn’t pay attention to those signs though and made it to the end of the second round against all odds.

Suddenly there was only five minutes left and it seemed that those five minutes would dictate the fight’s result. With it all, on the line, the third round was always only going to go one away and it was certain to be filled with excitement.

The Hardest Battle Won

Choi would make an impression early, landing a right hand before pulling Swanson to the ground. However, Swanson was undeterred and quickly fought Choi off and secured top position before soon standing back up. Once again, Swanson again was using his experience to show an incredible amount of poise in the hardest of battles.

Aware of the tenuous fight scenario, Swanson scored a takedown of his own but the two men’s mutual refusal to accept defeat continued to show as Choi quickly fought back to his feet.

Though the round had been leaning in Swanson’s favour, the fight was still very much still up for grabs and the desperate veteran would quickly grab it with both hands, mounting one final surge of brutality as he badly hurt Choi again before the end of the third round. Thankfully, there was no controversy and the judges rightly scored Swanson the winner, Choi was no loser though.

This quite incredible fight showed and proved many things. Though he had lost, Doo Ho Choi proved his skillset was very much legit as he traded punches with one of the most feared strikers at 145lbs. His courage and spirit were truly unbreakable and in his first UFC defeat, Doo Ho Choi had shown that, after all the hype, he really was special.

On the other hand, Cub Swanson had solidified his legacy as one of the sport’s most exciting and aggressive fighters as well as once again showing that he is very much an anomaly.

After over twelve years as a professional fighter, Cub Swanson inexplicably still has an almost unexplainable fearlessness. That was the key to this fight too, against all odds and expectations, Swanson is still displaying an approach that would be more befitting to an undefeated prospect. Wild and aggressive as ever, I guess Cub Swanson just didn’t read the script.

For more please go to @joehulbert5 on Twitter.

Image courtesy of www.sportsnet.ca

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