(This story first published over at USA TODAY NETWORK partner desertsun.com.)
INDIO, Calif. – The UFC has extended an offer to Cub Swanson to renew his expired contract, but Swanson is still meeting with other fight companies to weigh his options, he told The Desert Sun this past weekend.
Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC) chose to fight last month without renewing his deal with the UFC because he didn’t feel the offer represented the hard work he’s put into his career and the success that has come as a result.
Swanson, 34, won the 2016 UFC “Fight of the Year” and had a four-fight winning streak before losing by submission against unbeaten Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC Fight Night 123 last December in Fresno, Calif.
Afterward, Swanson said he ran into UFC President Dana White, and that White told him, “Let’s get a deal done.” UFC came back with a little more money than it was initially offering to Swanson, but he said he will not make a decision until every offer is on the table.
“I can’t make a decision until I know what the other offers are,” Swanson said at the Indio Boys & Girls Club following a workout.
It’s unclear how much the UFC pays its fighters, because the records are not public, but very few make the hundreds of thousands or millions per fight that the sports’ elite stars have made.
The way Swanson sees it, there are pros and cons to leaving and staying with the UFC. He said other companies typically offer guaranteed purses, win or lose, and that is appealing to someone who is looking out for his financial future. Purses in the UFC vary greatly, depending on the outcome of the fight.
On the other hand, though, the UFC is a known company that will undoubtedly be around a long time, and that cannot necessarily be said for every fight promotion.
“Not many big players stay around all that long,” said Swanson, who met with one company about a contract as recently as last Thursday evening.
Swanson said he is still in “great” shape following his last fight, that he didn’t take more than a few days off during the holiday season and wants to sign a contract and fight again as soon as possible.
He also said he’s re-watched his fight with Ortega and is left with a bitter feeling, because he believes he was cruising to a win and got overconfident and put himself into an unfavorable position that allowed Ortega to end the fight abruptly.
“I should have just avoided it altogether,” Swanson said. “He would have been done. I had him on punches but gave him an opportunity, and he took it.”
So Swanson has been in the gym most days since losing the fight, waiting to have all of his options in front of him before he makes a decision, signs a contract and gets back into the octagon for what he hopes will be some redemption.
“The negotiations, it’s not about having fancy cars or anything,” Swanson said. “It’s about having financial stability for my family’s future. That’s it.”
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