Cub Swanson - UFC on FX 4UFC featherweight Cub Swanson was seen as a future challenger to champion Jose Aldo’s belt entering this weekend’s bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fuel 7. Swanson has won three fights in a row including finishes of George Roop, Ross Pearson, and most recently Charles Oliveira, meaning a win over Poirier could elevate the 29-year old to status as top contender.

However, doing so seems to be secondary to Swanson simply earning the respect he feels he deserves.

“I just want people to mention me up there. I don’t care if I get in next. I’m just concentrating on this fight. But just mention my damn name when you mention the people who deserve it. That’s all I want,” explained Swanson in a conversation with the UFC’s website. “My time will come, I know it will because I’m just entering the prime of my career, I feel great, I’m training smarter, I feel better than I ever felt, and I feel confident.”

The attitude Swanson currently possesses is far from the one he had a few years back after dealing with a number of injuries. Though still young enough to compete, the 18-5 Swanson actually contemplated hanging his gloves up for good and moving on from MMA. After some soul-searching, Swanson realized how fortunate he was to be doing something he loved and has rekindled the internal fire burning for in-ring success.

“I really considered (retirement), and the one thing I told myself was if you’re going to retire, are you happy with your career and the name you made for yourself? Are you satisfied? The answer was no. I knew I could do better and I wasn’t satisfied,” admitted Swanson. “When I’m done fighting, I want to be satisfied with how far I’ve made it and the progression that I made. And I want to live up to my potential that I put on myself.”

“I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned in my career is to enjoy the ride. My whole WEC career, and most of my MMA career, I have memories, but a lot of it’s like a blur. I just trained every damn day. If someone invited me to do something during the week, I would snap at them and say ‘I train all week.’ The problem with that is that when you lose, it takes a piece of your soul because you put so much into it,” he concluded. “And now I just took a page out of Clay Guida’s book, and I just go out there and enjoy it. I’m gonna enjoy every bit of it – the suffering, the weight cutting, the fighting, every part of it because I’m lucky to be doing what I’m doing.”

Fans can catch Swanson-Poirier on the main card of UFC on Fuel 7 when things air tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST on Fuel TV.