We’re most likely in the waning days of Cub Swanson’s career, while Doo Ho Choi is an ultra-hot prospect who’s been impressing like crazy when he steps into the Octagon. So yeah, you could say this is an “old versus new” match-up, or a bout that will gauge the futures of both men. I, however, just like to think of it as a fight featuring two dudes who can throw leather very well.
Swanson keeps his head on a swivel and avoids the power and accuracy of Choi, which is what the South Korean has been using to put opponents away so quickly. The American also mixes in a great deal of clinch-work, and though some of his kicks and punches find their target, Choi’s strikes land, too. The round ends with the fight somewhat even, with Swanson maybe slightly worse for wear.
All notions of caution leave the building in Round 2. Nailing Choi over and over again with his arcing punches, Swanson is suddenly large and in charge and Choi is stumbling around struggling to stay alive. But Choi does stay alive, and he starts tagging his opponent, and the momentum shifts the other way. When Swanson gathers his wits, he snags a takedown and slides into mount for a few seconds, but then they’re back on their feet and Choi is eating knuckles sandwiches, doing the Funky Chicken, and hitting Swanson so hard that Swanson is walking on roller skates. This is a great fight!
Round 3 opens with Choi rocking Swanson and Swanson bumbling around like a drunk. A minute in and Choi is almost taking Swanson’s back on the ground, and Swanson reverses and pounds on him. Back on their feet and Swanson lights his foe up with face-punches, then hip-tosses him. Choi gets back up and the slugfest resumes. With a minute and a half left these guys are winging punches and utterly exhausted, but they keep going, and when the horn sounds Swanson is in Choi’s guard just pitter-pattering away with his fists.
This is definitely a “fight of the year” candidate.
Results: Cub Swanson def. Doo Ho Choi via Unanimous Decision