Frankie Edgar destroys Cub Swanson, finishes with fifth-round rear naked choke

BY Damon Martin • November 23, 2014

The UFC featherweight division might be enamored with an Irishman these days, but the question about who is the top contender at 145 pounds was answered emphatically Saturday as Frankie Edgar bludgeoned Cub Swanson before earning a fifth-round rear naked choke finish — the latest in UFC history.

Entering the UFC Fight Night 57 card in Austin, Texas, the talk of the town was Swanson's six-fight win streak and potential title shot with a win. But Edgar had much, much different plans.

A close first round was highlighted by Swanson's striking landing some solid shots early, but Edgar countered late with a throw to put his opponent on the mat. It ended up being a precursor to what was about to follow for the next 20 minutes.

Edgar came out in round two and put Swanson on the mat immediately. It was all downhill for Swanson from there.

The offensive onslaught from the top was one-sided as Edgar rained punches and elbows, eventually opening a big cut over Swanson's left eye.

The third round was much of the same as Edgar planted Swanson on the mat and opened up a barrage of strikes. Swanson struggled to even keep half-guard on Edgar as he tried to just survive the onslaught. Edgar did the same in the fourth round, transitioning from takedown, passing the guard and just blasting away at Swanson over and over again.

In desperation mode as the final round started, Swanson came out and landed probably his best strike since the first round when he cracked Edgar with a body kick. It didn't take long for Edgar to counter with another takedown and Swanson wouldn't get up again.

Edgar continued his ground and pound attack until he trapped Swanson against the cage and locked on a rear naked choke. With just four seconds to go in the fight, Swanson tapped out and Edgar hopped up to celebrate his latest win.

"I haven't seen the ceiling yet," Edgar said after the victory, and declared he's "coming for that belt!"

Edgar's dominant performance was nothing short of spectacular as he absolutely mauled Swanson on the mat for the largest part of all five rounds. Maybe most impressive was Edgar's desire to finish the fight, even in the waning seconds as he sunk in the choke and got the stoppage.

While Conor McGregor might be smiling thinking his title shot has just been secured with Swanson out of the way, he might want to look toward New Jersey, because the biggest threat to the featherweight title is still Frankie Edgar.