The co-main event at UFC Fight Night 128 saw fan favourites Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson go to war in front of a raucous Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
This was actually a rematch; the pair last met at UFC Fight Night 57 in November 2014.
On that occasion, Edgar got the win with a neck crank submission after four minutes 56 seconds of the fifth round.
Since then, Edgar and Swanson have both had four wins and two losses in the featherweight division, with Edgar now ranked third and Swanson fourth.
With both men flying high but both men losing to the number one contender, Brian Ortega, in their last bouts, they knew that a win here would put them right in the running for a title shot while two losses on the bounce would see them slide down the rankings.
Obviously, Ortega will be the next man to take on the current champ, Max Holloway, but after that, the winner of Edgar vs Swanson could boast the strongest claim for a shot at the strap (no matter what Jeremy Stephens says).
Edgar insisted that despite his first knockout loss in 29 professional fights, The Answer was still just as motivated as ever to get to the top of the featherweight division.
“I’m still motivated, I’m still hungry. I know I had that loss, but it wasn’t like I was getting beat up or anything; I felt I was doing really well in that fight. He (Ortega) caught me with a shot I didn’t see, rocked me pretty good, and that’s just the way it goes,” he added. “But I’m going out there to prove I’m still the best in this division or at least one of them.”
Due to the nature of his knockout loss to Ortega, Edgar said that he believed Swanson would be more motivated to get the win but he would find out that this Frankie was still the same Frankie who beat him the first time around.
“I think he [Swanson] is gonna come in more motivated. Maybe he sees some weakness there he needs to exploit, but he’s gonna realise that I’m the same guy,” Edgar said.
The bookmakers believed that The Answer would answer his doubters, installing Edgar as the favourite at $1.42 (21/50, -238) while Swanson was paying $2.85 (20/37, +185) to come away with the upset win.