Cub Swanson played spoiler to jiu-jitsu royalty on Saturday night, laying into his strengths as a savvy, technical striker. He handed Kron Gracie his first MMA loss in convincing fashion.
The first round was all Swanson, who stayed light on his feet and constantly evaded the forward movement of Kron. In almost every escape, he managed to score hits on his way out, making Kron look slow in comparison.
Kron continued to wade into a barrage of strikes in the second, absorbing so many blows Swanson began to slow. Kron pulled guard twice but wasn’t able to take Cub with him. By the start of the third round, both men looked tired, but Kron clearly was the fighter who had never seen a third round in MMA. Several more guard pulls were unsuccessful, and Cub’s confidence seemed to surge as he poured on the body shots and even engaged in the clinch with Kron.
Kron is maybe the most decorated Gracie in active competition today. He has notable victories in the gi, sub only, and ADCC formats including wins over Garry Tonon and Shinya Aoki. He had several fights prior to entering the UFC, and high hopes were placed on him from the BJJ community. Perhaps a loss will allow him slow his progression and get some much needed octagon experience.