Cub Swanson Defeats Kron Gracie Via Unanimous Decision

Cub Swanson Defeats Kron Gracie Via Unanimous Decision

UFC On ESPN+ 19 went down live tonight (Saturday, October 12, 2019) from inside Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.

The co-main event of the evening brought the amazing clash between two BJJ black belts – submission phenom Kron Gracie and UFC veteran, dangerous Cub Swanson.

Cub Swanson

Cub Swanson is a longtime UFC contender, and a BJJ black belt under Rigan Machado. Many call this California-native the stamina phenom, as he mostly wins his opponents via unanimous decision. He has solid striking game and a standup tactician.

Submission wins (4) - Joe Morales, Martin Bautista, Armando Sanchez, Tommy Lee

Kron Gracie

Kron Gracie is a world-class submission phenom with a grappling score of 28-11. He's a 2013 ADCC Submission Grappling Champ. He is also the son of the legendary Rickson Gracie.

Kron Gracie is a BJJ and Judo black belt. Kron's game is mostly grappling based. He's known to take the fight to the ground and look for the submission. Until now, Kron forced all of his MMA opponents to tap out. 

Submission wins (5) – Hyung Soo-Kim, Asen Yamamoto, Hideo Tokoro, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Alex Caceres

Background

Cub Swanson was looking for some redemption and respect coming into this match. Cub faced Kron Gracie in a BJJ Gi match in the past. Having lost that fight, this was a long rematch he's been waiting for. 

Prior to the bout Cub Swanson claimed he was kicked out of some BJJ schools for meeting Kron Gracie! Gracie is a legendary jiu-jitsu family, so this doesn’t come as a surprise.

Cub said he had a very hard time finding the school that would train him. 

“I’ve been able to get a lot of Jiu Jitsu in because he’s a Gracie, and he has the name. It’s been an interesting one. I’ve been kicked out of a couple of jiu-jitsu schools because of the respect. They don’t want to train somebody that isn’t a Gracie, which really pisses me off.”

In Jiu-Jitsu, respect is everything, and that's what Cub is looking to get after the match.

The Match

ROUND 1

Cub Swanson was moving well early on, jabbing at Kron from the outside. Kron tried to bring in the pressure moving forward to try in close the distance. It was very clear what Kron’s game plan was from the get go – take the fight to the ground! But as Kron moves in Cub quickly circles around to evade the clinch. A nice big punch landed by Swanson, and another counter right, as he stopped Gracie from advancing.

Low kick Swanson, Gracie ate this shot but answers back with some jabs and sidekick to the leg. He continues chasing Cub down with a few more strikes and even landed a nice right. Swanson with the footwork evades a combo, circles nicely outside and hits Kron with a 1-2 and a kick to the body. Grace tried to fire back but is countered with a straight right hand by Swanson. That one rocked him but survived that one.  

Gracie is getting frustrated now, unable to catch the much more experienced and elusive Swanson. Cub, looking much comfortable now, picks his shots, gets Gracie with some solid body shots. Gracie is now eating blows after blows now, and even ate a solid kick to the mid-section. Great first round for Cub Swanson.

ROUND 2

Cub continues the strikes, super effective at keeping Kron at bay. He continues picking Gracie apart from the outside, hits him with a big right, a low kick to the legs, and a few more nice right hand shots. But Gracie is relentless, looking to clinch up, eating some strong blows along the way.

Kron is on a mission, he continues forward seemingly unphased by the heavy shots, clearly looking to clinch. And finally he gets Cub to the cage, a momentary clinch, and Cub quickly slips of to the side. Gracie again chases him down, and as he closed in, he jumps guard! Cub sees this coming and evades the attempt nicely, and hits him with a left on his way out.

Gracie again lunging forward to try to close in with a clinch, and Cub fires low again with a solid body shot. Gracie ate this one head on for the clinch and quickly pulls guard. This time Gracie successfully locks his legs around Cub. Gracie grabs both ankles, looking for a sweep, but unsuccessful in doing so.

Cub slips out of the guard, and Kron quickly gets up and gets in the clinch. A few strikes from inside the clinch from both sides. Both are firing now towards the end of the round, and Kron fires a nice shot and hits Swanson and has a cut by his eye.

ROUND 3

Cub Swanson again bringing in some punishment, striking at a distance, dancing around and out boxing Kron Gracie. As Kron lunges in for the clinch, Cub circles off, gets a nice body shot and a chopping left low kick on Kron’s right leg.

Quick strikes Kron, as he closed in the distance for the clinch, as Cub answers with a few shots of his own. Cub connects with left hook and a straight right. But Gracie continues forward eating blows after blow, and a nice body kick by Swanson, followed by a left uppercut! Gracie again jumps guard, followed with an up-kick but no solid connection there.  

Back to their feet, Kron come back in on the clinch, lands a nice 1-2. Back to the clinch, and as Kron’s got the overhook on Cub Swanson’s arm, he goes in for a Judo throw! Both fighters land on their knees, as Kron was unsuccessful in delivering the full throw.

Fighters get back up now, more clinch fighting. Gracie pulls guard and gets Swanson with an upkick to the body. Swanson answers back, he continues raining big shots, turning into a brawl inside the clinch! Kron fires a 1-2, Swanson is cut open. Right uppercut lands for Cub, a lot of strikes on both sides.

Towards the last minute, Gracie attempts a double leg, but Cub stuffed it real nicely. But as he does so, Gracie successfully get him into his full guard. Kron looking for a submission here but Swanson was able to get back up. Both fighters slugging away now to finish the match on the last few seconds of the match!

The Results

Excellent performance by both fighters. But it was clear that Swanson’s experience in the Octagon had the advantage over Kron Gracie. Kron was clearly looking to take the fight to the ground – that’s his bread and butter.

Swanson, who has faced Gracie in a BJJ Gi match in the past, knows Gracie’s game too well. He knows Gracie is dangerous on the ground, he didn’t let him play his game.

Cub Swanson beautifully played Gracie from the outside, picking his shots from the outside. Kron wasn’t able to close in the distance as he wanted. A few great attempts by Gracie, creative with his guard pulls, upkicks, and clinch strikes. Kron showed some tremendous heart, never backing down but in the end of it all, it was the more experienced veteran in Cub Swanson that won the match.

Cub Swanson defeats Kron Gracie via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)

Kron Gracie drops to 5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC
Cub Swanson improves the score to 26-11 MMA, 11-7 UFC.