Cub Swanson is back with a bang.
The featherweight veteran, who suffered a torn ACL during a grappling match last year, returned with a highlight reel knockout against Daniel Pineda in the featured prelim at UFC 256. The action was non-stop but ultimately it was Swanson delivering a devastating right hand that put Pineda down and one more shot on the ground ultimately stopped the fight.
The end came at 1:52 into the second round.
“Really I just kept thinking about my kids and saying I’m their superhero,” Swanson said about his win on Saturday night. “When I relaxed and just started letting my hands go, it worked out for me.”
Killer @CubSwanson put the paws on Daniel Pineda. The claws are still sharp
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 13, 2020
Coming in with confidence following a win in his return to the UFC, Pineda was attacking early and often while establishing a nasty kicking game in the first few exchanges. Pineda was chipping away at Swanson’s lead leg with a bruise forming from the damage almost immediately.
Undeterred from eating those shots, Swanson came back with a blitzing series of punches that started to find a home on Pineda’s chin. As time was running out in the opening round, Swanson cracked Pineda with a hard combination that dropped the former PFL fighter to the canvas.
Swanson swarmed on him looking for the finish but Pineda showed incredible toughness to survive.
That was the beginning of the end, however, as Pineda was still showing the effects of that combination when he stepped out to do battle in the second round. Swanson was accurate and selective with his shots, which allowed him to find the perfect opening for the straight right hand that helped him score the knockout.
After enduring a tough four-fight losing streak, Swanson picked up a Fight of the Night win over Kron Gracie in October 2019 before finally making his return at UFC 256 where he will undoubtedly receive consideration for another performance bonus following this jaw-dropping finish.
In his post-fight interview, Swanson broke with emotion as he described his motivation during the bout.