Cub Swanson was on the cusp of greatness and a surefire challenger to the throne not too long ago, but then he met Frankie Edgar in the cage and got dominated, and Swanson has never been the same. Hacran Dias, on the other hand, has yet to attain the heights the American has, but is he catching Swanson in his swan song?
It’s a cautious, thoughtful version of Swanson that greets the Brazilian at first, with low-risk single strikes thrown and a lot of covering up whenever Dias moves forward to kick or punch. But halfway through the round the American starts to open up – at least with more head movement and about one step closer into range. It ultimately doesn’t mean much though, as Dias ratchets up the output and is landing more and more by the waning moments of the round.
Thirty seconds into Round 2 is when the Swanson of old shows up, and it comes with a sweet kicking and punching combo that forces Dias to fall back to the canvas. Swanson continues the onslaught, raining down hell until eventually the Brazilian has his defenses in order, and then they get back to their feet, where Swanson resumes blending kicks and punches and tagging Dias from odd angles until he scores another knockdown.
Between ripping jabs to his opponent’s body and winging wild rights, Swanson is a portrait of confidence to Dias’ desperation. Dias is still in it though, and for a split second it almost looks as if he’s caught the American with a punch that stumbles him. But Swanson unleashes with a surgically-precise high-kick to Dias’ neck, and Dias drops. The crowd goes bonkers, and while Swanson drops bombs, Dias is able to kick him away enough to survive to the final horn.
Cub Swanson def. Hacran Dias via Unanimous Decision