UFC Fight Night 44: Swanson vs. Stephens Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions, More

Whenever Cub Swanson fights, there's a chance for an explosive finish. He won't have to hunt down his opponent on Saturday night, as Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens is never one to back down from a brawl.

Swanson has made it clear: He believes he deserves a shot at the title.

He has already faced and been knocked out by current champion Jose Aldo, but that was in 2009 when both were in WEC. He wants his crack at the title soon, but Stephens stands in his way.

'Lil Heathen has been up and down over the past three years. He had lost three fights in a row but followed that up with his current three-fight win streak. A win over Swanson would make him a prime contender to fight for the title in the near future.

The two men headline UFC Fight Night 44 in San Antonio, Texas. It is the second card from the promotion on the day. Much earlier—at least stateside—UFC Fight Night 43 will commence in New Zealand.

Another interesting fight on the FN 44 card features the return of another talented featherweight. Ricardo Lamas lost a unanimous decision to Aldo in his last fight, but is looking to rebound against Hacran Dias. 

Lamas didn't like the way he fought against Aldo and has vowed to improve upon the performance. Per Kyle McLachlan of Bloody Elbow, Lamas said:

"I just didn't fight like myself. With a title riding on the line I didn't want to make too many mistakes and I was too conservative. I learned a lot from that fight and won't ever fight like that again."

Dias is a formidable opponent who is capable of testing Lamas.

Here's a look at the entire card, viewing information and predictions for the action in San Antonio. Just below the table is a closer look at the biggest main card bouts.

UFC Fight Night 44 - Main Card, Predictions and Viewing Info
UFC Fight Pass Prelim 7:30 p.m. ET
Matchup Weight Class Prediction
Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Anthony Hamilton Heavyweight Hamilton by KO
Fox Sports 1 Prelim 8 p.m. ET
Matchup Weight Class Prediction
Ray Borg vs. Shane Howell Flyweight Borg by submission
Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Andy Enz Middleweight Guimaraes by decision
Johnny Bedford vs. Cody Gibson Bantamweight Gibson by TKO
Colton Smith vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira Lightweight Smith by decision
Main Card 10 p.m. ET
Matchup Weight Class Prediction
Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontarsi Lightweight Ellenberger by TKO
Clint Hester vs. Antonio Braga Neto Middleweight Hester by TKO
Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias Featherweight Lamas by TKO
Cezar Ferreira vs. Andrew Craig Middleweight Ferreira by submission
Kevin Gastelum vs. Nico Musoke Welterweight Gastelum by decision
Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens Featherweight Swanson by TKO

Card per UFC.com, picks by Brian Mazique

Ricardo "The Bully" Lamas vs. Hacran Dias

Dias has put together a solid record outside of the UFC. He's 1-1 in his time with the promotion. Though he has a lot of experience in MMA, he hasn't faced fighters on par with Lamas.

With a renewed purpose, Lamas is even more dangerous now than he was before the loss to Aldo. His ground-and-pound game is among the best in the lower weight classes, and Dias' penchant to work from his back will put him in peril against the Bully.

Even if Lamas wasn't at his best against Aldo, he still did enough to keep the bout competitive. Against Aldo, that's an accomplishment.

Lamas will win it by TKO.

Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira vs. Andrew "Highlight" Craig

Coming off his first loss in the UFC, Ferreira has something to prove. Craig is a tough grinder who doesn't possess the natural athleticism that Mutante does, but he fights with heart.

What quality will win out on Saturday?

Bet on talent.

Ferreira has long been tabbed as a future force in the UFC. His speed, punching power and grappling make for an exciting combination of skills. He is beginning to gain a reputation for having a weak chin.

He hit a speed bump in his knockout loss to C.B. Dollaway in March. Can Craig test Ferreira's chin? It's not likely. Keeping Ferreira from gaining the advantage on the ground will be Craig's biggest challenge.

Look for Ferreira to fight a smart, tactical fight that leads to ground domination and a submission win to re-establish his momentum.

Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens

The personalities and demeanors of the fighters in the main event are intriguing.

'Lil Heathen' might be the funniest nickname in all of sports, but there's nothing comical about Stephens' relentless style. He comes to bring the pain like Method Man, and his intentions are apparent in every punch.

Swanson looks like an anti-hero from a Guy Ritchie movie, and fights with just as much attitude. This battle could live up to its billing as the featured attraction and earn Fight of the Night honors.

Both men can really bang if the fight takes place in the stand-up, but Stephens might have a slight edge when it comes to grappling. The question is this: Can Stephens' stamina hold up against Swanson, a noted horse in the energy department?

B/R's Sean Smith weighs in:

Although Stephens can definitely take Swanson down and might be able to grind out a decision win, it'll be tough for him to keep that up over 25 minutes. Swanson is strong enough on the ground to work some escapes, and he might even be able to wear Stephens down as the fight goes into the later rounds.

Because of Swanson's fitness level, resolve and punching power, he should score a late-round stoppage in one heck of a battle.

Follow me on Twitter.

@BMaziqueFPBR

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Fight Night 82: Hendricks vs. Thompson Card, Tickets, TV Info, Predictions

  • 2 days ago
  • 4 views

The event formerly known as UFC 196 may not have the same allure that it once did before injuries forced it off pay-per-view as UFC Fight Night 82, but a night of fights is still better than a night read news >>

The Downes Side: Fight Night Las Vegas predictions

  • 3 days ago
  • 3 views

Live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks tries to climb his way back to title contention against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Who needs a conti read news >>

Roy Nelson Fights Guys, Not into Playing Tag (UFC Fight Night 82 Scrum Video)

  • 2 days ago
  • 3 views

Roy Nelson talks about his pending UFC Fight Night 82 bout with Jared Rosholt, his philosophy on fighting, and his son's great hair. read news >>

GFL preview: Top 5 fights to watch on GFL this weekend

  • a day ago
  • 3 views

The UFC isn’t the only promotion with live MMA action this weekend. GoFightLive.tv streams four live regional events featuring up-and-coming talent and veterans. GFL and Jesse Scheckner take you insi read news >>

Georges St-Pierre Super Fights que podem acontecer no retorno de GSP

  • a day ago
  • 11 views

Georges St-Pierre Super Fights que podem acontecer no retorno de GSP read news >>

For retired UFC vet Chris Cariaso, a venue – not opponent – proved biggest nemesis

  • a day ago
  • 9 views

After 25 professional MMA fights and 22-years of active competition, 34-year-old Chris Cariaso has decided the time is right to embark on his second career, and more importantly, be present in the li read news >>

UFC Fight Night 82 Predictions: Main Card Staff Picks

  • a day ago
  • 14 views

UFC Fight Night 82, formerly known as UFC 196, will take place Saturday. Originally supposed to be the latest in a growing contingent of high-profile Super Bowl Weekend fight cards, Fight Night 82 lo read news >>

UFC 197 set for April 23 in Vegas with Cormier-Jones 2, Johnson-Cejudo title fights

  • 5 hours ago
  • 0 views

Jon Jones’ return to the octagon is official. The former UFC light heavyweight champion will attempt to regain the belt he never lost in the cage when he faces current titleholder Daniel Cormier in a read news >>

RFA 35 to feature trio of RFA vs. Showdown Fights matchups

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

RFA is looking to invade Utah with a trio of battles between its top stars and stars from the local Showdown Fights promotion at RFA 35.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News read news >>

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 81

  • 26 days ago
  • 33 views

With the second title fight of 2016 looming, we want your predictions for Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 81 event in Boston.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>