Riding a five-fight winning streak and finishing four of his last five opponents, Swanson has positioned himself on a short list of names at the top of the 145-pound division.
Aldo is scheduled to face Chan Sung Jung, “The Korean Zombie,” on August 3 at UFC 163 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and if Swanson has to take another fight before getting a crack at the title, he has some names in mind.
“Well, if they are going to give someone else Aldo then that's way too long for me to wait. I'm in prime position right now. I'm doing well. There's no sense in me waiting, but I do want that fight and if I have to fight one more time then I would like the Ricardo Lamas fight or the Frankie Edgar fight,” Swanson told MMAWeekly.com content partner Knockout Radio.
“There's also Chad Mendes, but he's got to get through my teammate, Clay Guida, first,” he added. “So my first choice would be Aldo. I don't think The Korean Zombie is going to beat him and so then after that it would either be Lamas or Edgar. They'd be my next choices.”
Taking another fight in the talent-rich 145-pound division is risky, but it’s a risk Swanson is willing to take.
“I've thought about that and I just think that if I did, for some reason, lose because the talent is so high, I wouldn't get down on myself. I would just make the adjustments and try to get right back on a win streak because at this point of my career and in my life, I'm having so much fun fighting and I just like to get out there and do it,” he said.
“The way I think about it nowadays, I put so much work into my camps and so many hours. I've been doing this for 10 years, man. And I've put in so many hours that people don't see me training, so that 15 minutes in the cage or so, that's my opportunity to showcase everything that I've been working and shine. So I get super excited to be able to be in that opportunity to be on a stage like that to do it and that makes me happy,” added the 29-year-old Californian.
Swanson is one of the most exciting fighters in the featherweight division. In his UFC tenure, he’s accumulated two Knockout of the Night bonuses and one Fight of the Night honor. That does not include his three Fight of the Night awards while competing in the WEC.
“Here is something that I actually brag about where a lot of people wouldn't. Even my losses have all been Submission of the Night, Knockout of the Night, which I take pride in because I refuse to be in a boring fight. Either I'm going to win big or I'm going to lose big. And I want the fans to know that I come to fight and I'm not trying to be boring,” said Swanson. “I’m trying to have fun. I'm trying to put on a show.”
Swanson would like a little time off to heal up from some minor injuries, but plans to be back in action before the end of the year.
“Probably sometime later this year just because I'd like to heal up a little bit. You get these little knick-knack injuries through training camps and I like to do long training camps. I like to do usually 12-14 weeks gradually getting better and better. So I want some time to prepare because I know it will be a big fight whoever it is and I want to be ready and want to be healed up and want to do one more this year,” he said.
Whether his next fight is a title shot or a top contender’s bout, Swanson is ready to put on another show.