With the news that Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes is back on later this fall at UFC 179, it looks like top featherweights Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar are again stuck waiting in the wings.
So why not pair them up to see who is next in line?
Swanson is coming off a win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 44, while Edgar most recently sent B.J. Penn into retirement in their third bout at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale. The two are ranked second and third in the UFC featherweight division immediately behind Mendes, and the bout would no doubt be an explosive one. Both fighters are tough, fast and capable of explosive offense that would keep the fans on their feet. Edgar has held UFC gold before, and Swanson dearly wants to.
Edgar’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, apparently thinks the fight to be a great idea, as he and UFC Tonight/MMA Fighting journalist Ariel Helwani traded the following tweet:
That event would be UFC on FOX 13, and it would certainly be a huge headliner even without being a title fight.
Realistically, Swanson probably expected to be granted a title shot following his victory against Stephens, his sixth straight since losing to Ricardo Lamas in November 2011 in his UFC debut. Edgar, meanwhile, lost an immediate title shot against Aldo after dropping to featherweight, but has bounced back with two wins since, over Penn and Charles Oliveira. Penn was never a relevant name at featherweight, coming down in weight only to meet Edgar, but he’s still a name, and Oliveira is still ranked in the top 15 at 145 pounds.
With time to kill between Aldo meeting Mendes and the victor of that fight being ready to go again, Edgar vs. Swanson is probably the most high-profile featherweight bout available at the moment. The UFC would be well served to book it as soon as possible. It will be explosive.