LAS VEGAS – First up for UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is Chan Sung Jung, though Anthony Pettis and Ricardo Lamas, as well as UFC 162 winners Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson, are also queued up behind "The Korean Zombie." And if you want the latter to get the next title shot, he's imploring you to speak up.
Swanson, a former WEC fighter whose career had been plagued with hand injuries, kicked off Saturday's UFC 162 pay-per-view main card in impressive fashion. After surviving Dennis Siver's early attacks, Swanson stormed back for a third-round TKO victory that earned him a $50,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus.
Swanson (20-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who was ranked No. 5 and defeated No. 8 Siver (21-9 MMA, 10-6 UFC) in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA featherweight rankings, has now won five consecutive UFC fights.
Is it enough for a title shot? Swanson believes it is, assuming enough people tell UFC President Dana White.
"I think I did everything I needed to do," Swanson told MMAjunkie.com after the event, which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. "I'm just trying to get the fans to back me on it and let them decide. Dana does a good job of listening to the fans, and if they speak up and they want me to be the next one in line, then it could happen."
White, though, isn't ready to lay out any plans beyond Aldo's Aug. 3 meeting with Jung at UFC 163. With the 145-pound division suddenly one of the organization's most intriguing, there are options aplenty, and he said he needs time sort through them all.
Still, White said Swanson, who detailed his troubled childhood in a pre-event interview with MMAjunkie.com, is just the type of fighter he adores.
"I love Cub Swanson," White said. "I thought he looked so good tonight – and so did Siver. Siver came out like a f---ing beast. Cub had to weather that storm in the first round. In that first round, Siver was putting it to him, and Cub looked like he was off his rhythm.
"I love Cub Swanson. There's a reason he was the first fight on the pay-per-view."
One reason White has a soft spot for the Californian? The UFC boss said Swanson is a fighter who understands that the UFC is what you make of it. He puts his career in his own hands.
"When I talk about guys who want to get f---ing noticed, who want to make money, guys who want this and that? Cub Swanson is a perfect f--ing example," White said. "He doesn't come out and push you against the fence. He doesn't try to stall out wins. He's trying to whoop your f--ing ass on the feet and on the ground and every position he goes in.
"He's incredibly exciting. He'll fight anybody anywhere any time. Cub Swanson is the exact type of a f--ing guy I love and that we're looking for and that will be in this company a long time."
But is it enough to jostle ahead of other contenders? Does Swanson deserve a crack at the title?
"I think he deserves many things, not just the $50,000 (bonus)," he said. "We'll see what happens."