It’s a battle of the featherweights this Saturday night as top two contenders, Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson, step into the octagon to duke it out for a shot at UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo.

After losing his lightweight title – and the ensuing rematch – to Benson Henderson in 2012, Frankie Edgar finally made the decision to cut down to featherweight. An unfortunate injury for Erik Koch landed Edgar a title shot for his first fight at 145, which he lost to Aldo.

It’s an interesting match-up as Cub Swanson hopes to improve his six-fight win streak over other top prospects, solidifying his position as the division’s number one contender, while Edgar looks to overcome one last obstacle on his way to another chance at the belt.

Striking

This fight is likely to be very striking-dominant. It’s hard to say who holds the advantage on their feet, because they have entirely different styles. Edgar strikes in a boxing stance and relies on speed over power. He can throw at high volume for 25 minutes straight, and this is how he tends to win his decisions. However, Swanson is fast enough to give him trouble and has enough power to potentially knock Edgar out. He also has a way of moving that allows him to be evasive while actively advancing.

Advantage – Swanson

Takedowns

It is tempting to simply give the advantage to the wrestler, but a quick look at Fight Metric proves the featherweights to be a closer match than it would seem. While Edgar shoots more times per minute, he is 20% less accurate than Swanson. But Swanson also has less success in takedown defense. The most important variable here is the likelihood of shooting. If Swanson gives Edgar too much trouble standing up, Edgar will try to take him down to stay safe.

Advantage – Edgar

Grappling

Both men hold Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belts, but Swanson is more proven on the ground. His record boasts seven wins by submission, as compared to Edgar’s three. That being said, both Edgar and Swanson have an MMA style of grappling — meaning they are content with advancing position and landing ground and pound, and won’t necessarily hunt for the finish. It is this style that will allow Edgar’s wrestling background to shine, as he is more likely to gain and hold top position.

Advantage – Edgar

Conditioning

Edgar is accustomed to fighting at a high pace for five rounds. Swanson isn’t. In fact, Cub Swanson’s last fight against Jeremy Stephens was his first time fighting past a third round. He looked great in that fight, but Stephens is not Frankie Edgar.

Advantage – Edgar

Chance of Finishing

Edgar has had a long career – and it shows. Every fight he is able to withstand less and less damage. Coupled with Swanson’s striking power, a knock-out wouldn’t be out of the question. Also, Swanson has finished 15 of his 21 fights, compared to Edgars eight out of 17.

Advantage – Swanson

Prediction

Edgar has done a lot with his career, and it is far from over. Swanson may have the potential to finish him, but that doesn’t mean Edgar will let it happen. The fight goes all five rounds, with some takedowns by Edgar to even the playing field. Frankie Edgar wins by decision.

About The Author

Quincy Mutter
Staff Writer

Quincy Mutter is a combat sports junkie and amateur mixed martial artist out of Niagara, Ontario. She fell in love with MMA while watching Demian Maia fight when she was 12 years old, and began training at 15. In addition to writing for The MMA Corner, Quincy is an administrator for the MMA Daily Facebook page and runs several of her own blogs.