Jonathan Martinez Excited to ‘Welcome’ Cub Swanson to Bantamweight: ‘I Said ‘Yes’ Right Away’

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Jonathan Martinez (16-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) was a teenager when he watched Cub Swanson (28-12 MMA, 13-8 UFC) competing in the WEC against the likes of Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.

“Dragon,” now 28 with seven UFC wins of his own, is set to square off against “Killer Cub,” 38, in Swanson’s bantamweight debut on Oct. 15.

“I’m really excited to get the opportunity to go against him and welcome him to the 135 division, so it’s pretty big, you know?” Martinez told MMASucka. “I’m a big fan, but it should be good.”

Martinez recalls being 14 or 15 while watching Swanson during his WEC days.

“I never really thought I was going to fight him,” Martinez said. “His name came up, and I said ‘yes’ right away. I’m super excited to go in the cage with him.”

Swanson has made a career at featherweight, fighting against the likes of Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, Charles Oliveira, Frankie Edgar, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, Brian Ortega and more, winning several of those bouts. Now, he drops down a weight class and gets a fight against Martinez, an up-and-coming prospect with no shortage of power.

“Dragon” has claimed victories over Thomas Almeida, Alejandro Perez, Vince Morales, Frankie Saenz and more.

Martinez believes he will be faster and stronger in the Octagon, as he feels Swanson will be impacted by dropping the 10 extra pounds. He said Swanson is “up there” among the biggest fights of his career.

“I just see another name, because everybody in there is hungry. He’s a regular guy, pretty much. But yeah, he’s one of the biggest guys I’ve fought.”

Should Martinez get past Swanson, he has another legend of the sport in mind: Frankie Edgar.

“Hopefully I get him,” Martinez said. “If they don’t have [an opponent for Edgar], I would like to fight him in December if I don’t get any injuries.”

Martinez said yes when asked if he was gearing up for a legends-hunting tour.

Martinez did not go into a lot of details for his prediction on how the fight ends, but he said his hand will be raised when he and Swanson are done.

Just going with the flow and stuff. I know he trains hard. I train hard, so, I think [the fight] will show who trains harder.”

Jonathan Martinez and Cub Swanson are set to duke it out on the main card of the UFC Vegas event on Oct. 15 at the UFC APEX. The card is set to be headlined by a women’s flyweight contest between Alexa Grasso and Viviane Araujo.

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!

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