Killer Cub Swanson on Life of Partying before MMA: Headlining UFC Fight Night 44 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, Cub Swanson is regarded as one of the top ranked featherweight fighters in the world. He is set to face Jeremy Stevens on June 28. Though he is recognized as the fourth best featherweight, Cub Swanson’s life was not always easy. However, after rough beginnings, he was determined to alter his life for the better. Combat Lifestyle got to chat with the humble fighter to hear his heartwarming story on how mixed martial arts changed his life forever.
Kevin “Cub” Swanson revealed how he got into the sport of mixed martial arts during the midst of his past partying lifestyle. “I played soccer until junior college. After that, I started partying. I used to work with kids with disabilities, then go home and party. It seemed like a never-ending circle. I needed a discipline, so then I wanted to do martial arts. I never heard of UFC or anything.” He then gave the sport an attempt starting with Jiu Jitsu with former UFC Fighter, Joe Stevenson. “After trying it, it blew my mind and I pursued it. I stopped drinking and doing drugs.” Swanson revealed the amount of support his family provided him when he first made the bold move to begin a fighting career. “When I started, it wasn’t sanctioned in California. I started in Tijuana. I was a troublemaker, party animal, did drugs, and was hanging with the wrong crowd before. Once they realized fighting was positive and I was passionate about it, they became supportive.” However, his biggest support system is his manager, Kami. “He has been there since day one. My brothers weren’t always there; they weren’t too thrilled in the first place.” Irony there is, Cub’s older brother, Steve now boasts a 11-2 record in MMA.
Family is very important to Swanson, as he opened up more about his family life. He prides himself in being a positive role model. “I have two brothers, and five sisters. My nieces and nephews look up to me.” Cub was adopted by a relative for the early part of his life while his mother grieved over the loss of his father who had passed away when he was three months old. He then revealed more about his personal life as well. “I have a girlfriend. She’s my third girlfriend in the last eleven years. I’m loyal. I win a fight and would rather go home to that one person.” Swanson also would like to have his own family someday. “I want kids. A fear of mine is to not be able to provide but I am very confident that I can and will be able to do so.” When asked if he would want his future kids to follow in his career footsteps, he promptly responded without hesitation, “I wouldn’t want my kids to fight. You have to have the passion for it without any push.”
Cub resides in Palms Springs, California, where he transports around in a 2013 Mustang. Though he lives in a place where beaches are within close proximity, the fighter has never surfed. “I never, I mean, I tried it one time and the board was too small for me. I had no luck and it didn’t work out for me.” When he is not training, he finds time making a difference in helping people. “I used to not have any hobbies because I used to just train. I learned over the years to find something to get my mind off things, so I got sponsored by a golf company. I like giving back as much as I can, too. I want to be a positive influence.” He discussed his score in golf, “I haven’t really been keeping score. I usually average 1 over par every hole.” Swanson has also traveled around the world. When asked where his favorite destination was, he said, “I got to go to Sweden last year. I’m half Swedish, half Mexican. I was able to mingle and go to restaurants. I got to try the Swedish meatballs which were authentic and amazing.” However, his favorite food remains cookies and Mexican cuisine.
Though fighters are often regarded as having a tough exterior, this featherweight contendor revealed the biggest thing people often misjudge him on. “When they see me fight, they think I’m conceited, but I’m very quiet, laid back, and don’t speak up.” As for the scariest events he’s encountered in his life, Swanson replied, “Involuntarily, I’ve been in a lot of car accidents. I have rolled in a Mustang which was very scary. I’ve been in the middle of a gun fight. Also, A buddy in high school gave friends and I a ride home, and drove up on a center median.” His favorite feeling he has ever experienced was winning a fight. “It’s incomparable. I don’t have any kids but one day it’ll take that place of that feeling. I’ve went into a fight with a broken hand and in spite of that gotten through it and won.” His worst fear in life is not succeeding. “It’s not about the belt. Being the number one spot and everyone knowing it. Not really respect from people but my peers, the other fighters.”
After exposing his uplifting story on changing his life for the better since discovering the sport of mixed martial arts, the inspiring fighter is more prepared than ever for the upcoming bout. When asked about his feelings on it, Swanson elaborated, “I’m beyond excited to fight soon. I’m hoping for the title fight and am very optimistic.” His biggest motivation to succeed is himself. “I have high standards on what I can accomplish. I’m always thinking how I can be better. My goal is to be best I can possibly be.” He concluded the interview showing appreciation to his supporters. “I want to thank my sponsors Fear the Fighter, Powerbilt Golf, and Virus Intl. I appreciate all my fans who love watching me fight after all these years. I feel like I’m supposed to be a fighter.”
These are various photos we have taken of Cub over the years…
If you want to purchase his Killer Cub Tee, you can pick it up here: