When UFC Fight Night 57 comes to Austin, TX this weekend, the MMA world will get treated to a highly anticipated battle — a clash of two surging featherweight contenders, as Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson throw down inside the Octagon. Edgar comes off of a dominant win over BJ Penn, while Swanson’s last trip to Texas saw him defeat Jeremy Stephens.

It goes without saying that the main event promises a high-pressure bout, with both men looking to use their own strengths to stay in the other’s face all night.

Swanson possesses his own brand of quick hands, judo throws, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offense. Edgar, a black belt under Ricardo Almeida in his own respect, represents a similar style, except he carries wrestling in his back pocket, and much like Swanson has done in the past, Edgar has been known to go for guillotine chokes when the opportunity has presented itself.

With all the makings for a true Fight of the Night contender, what are the keys to victory for Edgar?

Speed

Above all else, those that wanted Edgar to drop down to 145 saw his size and speed as the two reasons why the move made sense. With a two-inch reach advantage over Swanson, Edgar benefits greatly from his ability to stick and move, so long as he blends that in with some head movement and works angles. Remember, beating Edgar means catching Edgar, and when a man uses the nasty, greasy speed that Edgar loves to employ, it’s hard for even an accomplished top contender like Swanson to catch him.

Volume Striking

Swanson is not only the more powerful striker, but also the more accurate striker, which means Edgar needs those combinations in abundance. This goes back to Edgar’s “stick and move” strategy in fights, because before he moves, he likes to make sure he has landed his share of “punches in bunches” to the head and the body before he moves out.

Wrestling

As a wrestler with a reputation for taking down just about anyone and almost unbeatable takedown defense, Edgar knows how to bring his opponents to the ground from practically any position. Swanson will bring it with his judo game and his own array of takedowns from the clinch, but has struggled with top-level wrestlers in the past. Who better than Edgar to see how much Swanson really has grown since the loss to Ricardo Lamas, another standout featherweight wrestler who submitted Swanson back in 2011?

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.