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Cub Swanson went old school for UFC 256 victory over Daniel Pineda

Cub Swanson is not exactly trying to reinvent the wheel.

The seasoned veteran is taking a step back in order to focus on the things that once made him a UFC championship contender. Swanson (27-11 MMA, 12-7 UFC) feels that in order to move forward at this stage of his career, he needs hold back on learning new things and adding to his game, and instead sharpen the old tools.

And that mentality paid off with his victory over Daniel Pineda at UFC 256.

“This whole year off gave me the opportunity to think about my game and what made me great,” Swanson told MMA Junkie Radio. “What I did was kind of really dive back in, I said that when I got injured I wanted to start back over from the beginning and just get back to what I was really good at and what made me shine.

“I really felt like I did that this camp and I really believe that the little things that I did for so long were giving me an advantage and at some point I was just kind of … you know, when you’re trying to progress, you always lose certain things. When you’re trying to add something to your game, you always lose something else and that something else is something so important.

“It turns out that I was missing some important aspects of my game. I knew I was going to bring those back for this fight, and yeah, I felt like I was firing on all cylinders right now.”

Swanson picked up an impressive second-round finish of Pineda. It was his  first fight back since undergoing knee surgery earlier this year.

The 37-year-old now has back-to-back wins, which helped him bounce back from a four-fight losing streak. Swanson feels he’s making the right adjustments to move forward in his game.

“This win meant a lot to me just to kind of put a stamp on this whole year of recovery,” Swanson said. “It’s just a step in the direction of being the best version of myself.”

Swanson would like a quick turnaround, but he suffered a broken hand in the fight against Pineda. Swanson expects to be recovering for eight weeks before he gets back to full training.

The popular veteran says he’s open to all opportunities when he returns, but hopes to get big names and fun matchups.

“I know (the fans are) going to enjoy whatever fight I bring to the table, but people want to see two big names fight,” Swanson said. “I’d love the opportunity to get somebody they wouldn’t have thought I’d fight in my career, so that’s why I’d be open to doing different weight classes. But we’ll see, I’m open for whatever just trying to get back into shape and have another great performance.”

For more from Swanson, watch the video above.

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