LAS VEGAS – Add Dennis Siver to the growing list of UFC featherweights who believe they’re just one win away from a title shot.
As it turns out, Siver’s Saturday opponent, Cub Swanson, is right there with him.
Siver (21-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and Swanson (19-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) meet in a key contenders bout to open up the main card of UFC 162, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Siver has won two straight at featherweight since dropping down from lightweight, where he spent 13 fights after a drop from welterweight and picked up five post-fight bonus awards in the UFC.
Swanson has four straight featherweight wins and along with Ricardo Lamas believes he should be next in line for a shot at the 145-pound belt that Jose Aldo puts on the line against “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung, in August. Lamas and Swanson believe they should be there ahead of Jung, as it is. But Siver is willing to say a win over Swanson should have him in the mix.
“If this fight is really good, maybe I’ll get a title shot – I hope so,” Siver on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) through a translator after a workout session in Las Vegas. “It can’t be a boring fight or a decision. It has to be a KO or something interesting. If that happens, I might get a title shot.”
The 34-year-old Siver has a nice mix of wins – two-thirds by stoppage with five knockouts and nine submissions. But Swanson is in that boat, too, with seven KOs and seven tapouts to his credit.
So Siver knows just about anything could happen come Saturday night. And he’s been thinking about Swanson for a while. The two were scheduled to meet in February before a knee injury forced him out. Swanson fought Dustin Poirier instead, running his streak to four, and then got back to thinking about Siver after the fight was rebooked.
“He’s an interesting man with an interesting style,” Siver said. “But I don’t care about that because I’m prepared for it. I was in good shape (for Swanson in February), but unfortunately I was injured with my knee, and that can’t be changed. But it doesn’t matter now because it’s showtime.
“Kickboxing will be very important in this fight, but I’m prepared for everything. I’ve done a lot of wrestling and groundwork, so I’m ready for everything.”
Siver spinning back kicks have become a bit legendary, so it’s no wonder he says those kicks might prove to be important.
The German acknowledged going down from 155 to 145 may have taken some of the power away from those kicks. But he believes things have balanced out in the end.
“My size is really good for this weight class,” Siver said. “That’s the reason why I’ve had success. Because of the weight cut, I’m getting faster. You’ll see that in the fight. I think the spinning kicks are the same as before. I may have lost a little power, but I’m faster and that compensates for it.”
Swanson is no slouch in the speed and power departments, either, and that has fans already thinking “Fight of the Night” potential. Swanson had three “Fight of the Night” bonuses in the WEC and back-to-back “Knockout of the Night” wins in the UFC. Couple those with Siver’s five, and it’s easy to see where the pressure for a barnburner is coming from.
And that’s just fine with Siver.
“The fighting style fits together,” he said. “He fights nearly the same as me, so it will be a really interesting fight.”
For the latest on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.