Despite José Aldo’s push to face off against Max Holloway for the featherweight title at UFC 218, an even more interesting alternative has emerged.
Max Holloway’s first defense of the featherweight title he so impressively won at UFC 212 was scheduled for UFC 218 and a showdown with Frankie Edgar but recently, Edgar was forced to pull-out of the fight due to injury.
Holloway, who is now opponentless, was promptly greeted by a tweet sent by the former-champion José Aldo, who after losing his title for the second time at UFC 212, called for an opportunity to avenge that loss by filling the vacant title-challenger spot.
— Jose Aldo Junior (@josealdojunior) November 9, 201
And though the prospect of seeing Holloway take on Aldo again would certainly satisfy the appetites of those who enjoyed their thrilling first encounter, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting put forth an idea for even better alternative, one that would provide a fresher and perhaps more compelling matchup on paper.
Holloway would like to remain on 218, I’m told, and the most logical replacement is Cub Swanson. Swanson, though, has one fight left on his deal and is currently booked against Brian Ortega on 12/9. “We would have to come to terms on a new deal,” Swanson tells me. “I’m willing.”
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 9, 2017
Swanson’s last loss inside the octagon actually came from the champ Holloway during his ascent to the top of the featherweight pile and while the clinic he put on Cub saw him coast to a pretty emphatic showing, the work that Swanson has done in recent times has made his claims to a rematch perhaps more legitimate than a rerun with Aldo.
Four wins on the trot has seen Cub show some tremendous improvements all round and, of course, his UFC 206 showdown with Doo-ho Choi ranks among the very best fights the history of the sport.
Holloway/Edgar is a big loss, yes, but even though Cub is booked to face off against Brian Ortega later this year, the UFC have been known to switch around events in the past and with a matchup that is as potentially riveting as this one, do not be surprised to see it become a reality in the near future.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena