Here we have part two of the UFC’s weekend double-header, with UFC Fight Night 44 coming to you live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Headlining the card tonight is a featherweight battle that holds serious title significance, with the winner of Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens placed firmly in the contender mix.
(#4) Cub Swanson vs. (#11) Jeremy Stephens – 145lbs.
This fight is a potential barnburner. Both Swanson and Stephens are aggressive, come-forward fighters that have the ability to end a fight in an instance. Each man is on a hot streak of form, with Swanson coming in to this on a five-fight win streak and Stephens enters having won his previous three since dropping down to featherweight. I’m backing Swanson to utilise his superior speed and diverse forms of attack to swarm on Stephens before submitting him.
Prediction – Swanson via submission
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nicholas Musoke – 170lbs.
Gastelum has failed to make weight ahead of tonight’s match-up with Musoke, but I can’t see it altering the outcome of this one too much. Gastelum is a legit prospect in the welterweight division and another win here over Musoke will see the former TUF winner take another leap up the ladder. Musoke is well-rounded, but Gastelum takes this in dominating fashion.
Prediction – Gastelum via decision
Cezar Ferreira vs. Andrew Craig – 185lbs.
Both men enter this fight on the back of a loss, with Ferreira KO’d against C.B. Dolloway last time out and Craig tapping out to Luke Barnatt back in October 2013. Neither man is afraid to throw down, but I see this being a rather tepid affair with Ferreira and Craig cancelling each other out, but with Craig just about getting the better of the exchanges.
Prediction – Craig via decision
(#3) Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias – 145lbs.
This is Lamas’ first fight since failing to unseat José Aldo back at UFC 169 and it’s one that suits him down to the ground. Dias poses problems in many areas for most fighters, but his inactivity (only 2 fights since 2011) will count against him severely when he faces the stronger and more aggressive Lamas.
Prediction – Lamas via decision
Clint Hester vs. Antonio Braga Neto – 185lbs.
Former amateur boxer and TUF contestant, Clint Hester will almost definitely hold a striking advantage over Neto, but that will not matter too much. Neto is on another planet to Hester and the majority of the division when it comes to BJJ, and this is where this one will be decided.
Prediction – Neto via submission
Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontasri – 155lbs.
Joe Ellenberger gets his sixth opponent in the UFC in Moontasri , without having faced a single one due to unfortunate circumstances, and I think he takes this. Moontasri is a more than capable foe however, but the short notice nature of this bout will not work in his favour.
Prediction – Ellenberger via decision