Fans in For a Treat For UFC’s Fresno Debut

December 8, 2017


Photo by: Ram Reyes

UFC Featherweight Jason “The Kid” Knight greets the crowd during the UFC’s open workout for UFC Fresno on Thursday Dec. 7 at Fitness Evolution on First and Herndon.

UFC Fresno: Ortega vs Swanson Rampage Breakdown

The Central Valley is no stranger to mixed martial arts. There are countless gyms, amateur promotions and fighters.

The UFC is the legitimate home for the world’s highest caliber of fighters and will make it’s Fresno debut on Dec. 9 at the Save Mart Center.

The night’s main event features top ranked featherweight veteran “Killer” Cub Swanson taking on undefeated prospect Brian “T-City” Ortega.

The bout is intriguing to fans of the sport for several reasons.

Swanson is a crafty and seasoned fighter, whose only recent loss has been at the hands of undisputed featherweight champion Max Holloway.

But Swanson has been at the top of the division for many years now, even before the UFC had a featherweight division.

Swanson made a name for himself in World Extreme Cagefighting, an MMA promotion that was later acquisitioned by the UFC, and his unpredictable striking and world class grappling made him a fan favorite fighter.

In recent fights, Swanson has shown that he is just as game as ever.

His war against “The Korean Superboy” Dooho Choi on Dec. of 2016, was one of the most violent spectacles of the year and was a fight in which Swanson was hurt several times by Choi.

Despite being hurt, Swanson showed perseverance and pushed forward to land several blows on Choi and win a unanimous decision.

But Swanson is more than just a stand and bang fighter, he is just as comfortable fighting defensively minded  and counter striker as he is working for submissions on top or off of his back.

Simply put, Swanson is a full-fledged mixed martial artist with a complete MMA game.

Swanson’s only significant disadvantage in this matchup lays in the fact that Ortega is heavy handed, young and has been impossible to finish thus far.

Not only does he remain undefeated in his entire MMA career, Ortega has finished each of his opponents in the UFC.

Though Swanson is a notable step up in competition for Ortega, Ortega’s skill set can present serious problems for any opponent regardless of experience.

Ortega has a very technical guard and impressive submission victories off of his back as well as stunning knockout victories.

Ortega’s boxing is very sharp, he is a push forward and ask questions later kind of fighter, opting to fight in the pocket rather than pick you apart from the outside.

This is a style that has given Ortega problems with opponents who are less willing to engage than he.

Ortega is susceptible in the earlier rounds, when he doesn’t yet have his opponent’s timing down, of being picked apart from the outside.

This fight presents many questions that only Ortega and Swanson have answers for.

Can Ortega’s power punching and pressure fighting overwhelm Swanson, or is Swanson too crafty and experienced to allow himself to get caught in a firefight he may not win?

Will Ortega dominate the grappling or will Swanson be able to solve the puzzle that is Brian Ortega’s guard? Will Ortega be able to take Swanson down if Ortega decides to initiate the grappling?

The two fighters are frankly very evenly matched as far as skill sets are concerned, the biggest difference between the two is the levels of experience and their approaches.

Ortega is planning to come forward at all cost, but will that be towards his benefit on fight night?

Swanson is game and willing to trade punches, but will he be overwhelmed by a strong, young prospect who has not been in the same taxing battles as Swanson?

How will Ortega fair in his first five round fight in the UFC against an opponent who has been in five round wars before?

Questions will be answered on fight night by the two California natives on the UFC’s debut in Fresno.

Fresno’s UFC fans are in for a treat and the implications of a high profile featherweight fight in Fresno can mean big things, like more UFC fights and other high profile events, for the fifth largest city in the state.

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