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A round with Cub Swanson

November 9, 2017

We’re drinking chavelas today, which is a mixed drink of Clamato, Negra Modelo beer, and a salty rim—a first for me!

It’s iconic to the desert and Southern California. It goes down smooth, and it’s pretty good.

You’re currently the fourth-ranked featherweight UFC fighter in the world. And there could be a title fight in your future.

Yeah, the rumors are true. That would be the best-case scenario. I’m right there. I’ve been a professional for 13 years now, and I’ve been in the top 15 fighters in the world in my division for the last seven or eight years. So for me, the longevity I’ve been able to sustain is pretty big.

In addition to battling cage fighters, you often go toe-to-toe with Old Man Par.

True, but I didn’t pick up a golf club until about three, four years ago. I just noticed the relationships people were building on the golf course. People would always talk about it. And I finally got to a point where I wanted to learn.

Is there any knowledge you’ve taken from the Octagon that helps you on the golf course?

I think one of the biggest things is not to lose your cool. In our sport, you never want to show your emotions too much. You have to keep them in check. So if you have a bad swing, and then another one, you’re just going to go downhill if you lose it.

You received an invitation to play in the CareerBuilder Challenge Pro-Am this year. How do you think you would feel playing in front of thousands of people?

It’s all a mindset. I think I could be super-nervous and blow it, just due to the fact that I know that I’m not that good, that maybe I don’t belong. But that’s all mindset. I know I’m just out here to have fun and give people a little show.

Have you ever had someone underestimate you on the golf course?

Yeah. [One day] I hit this shot that hooked right onto the green. And even though it didn’t come that close to the group ahead, I immediately drove up, apologized and offered to buy them a drink. But one guy wanted to fight me. I was like, “Man, I’m apologizing. Come on.” That’s when I think his buddy recognized me and grabbed him.

That would not have ended well for him.

I had no intention of fighting somebody on the golf course. I’m there to have fun. I’m on vacation!

If that title fight comes through, what would it mean for you?

It’s the top of the top. I can only win as many fights as I can and put myself in position. I’m just going to keep enjoying doing what I do, enjoying my life, and try to do the best at it. I’ve already blown past my expectations of my career and what I’ve been able to do. So if it never came, I would be okay.