This fight delivered if you are looking at what UFC Fight Night 44 was in a nutshell. The early rounds could have went either way, but the fifth round Cub Swanson really came alive. Fight fans, this one is for you. However, with fans standing on their feet, there could only be one winner and that guy was Cub Swanson.
Cub Swanson (20-5) Has eight knockouts, seven submissions and five decision victories in his MMA career. The longtime WEC fighter came into the UFC 2-2 in his previous four fights. He made his UFC debut against Ricardo Lamas, but lost via arm triangle choke at UFC on Fox 1 – Velasquez vs. Dos Santos on Nov / 12 / 2011. He beat George Roop via knockout at UFC on Fox 2 – Evans vs. Davis on Jan / 28 / 2012.
In his next four, his was a perfect 4-0.
He beat Ross Pearson via knockout at UFC on FX 4 – Maynard vs. Guida on Jun / 22 / 2012, then Charles Oliveira via unanimous decision at UFC 152 – Jones vs. Belfort on Sep / 22 / 2012, then Dustin Poirier via knockout at UFC on Fuel TV 7 – Barao vs. McDonald on Feb / 16 / 2013 and finally Dennis Siver via knockout at UFC 162 – Silva vs. Weidman on Jul / 06 / 2013.
Jeremy Stephens (23-9) Has 15 knockouts, 3 submissions and 5 decision victories in his MMA career. The longtime fighter has been with the UFC since May / 26 / 2007. In his last seven fights he is 4-3. In his last five he is 3-2, in his last three fights he is 3-0 coming into this fight with Club Swanson.
He beat Estevan Payan via unanimous decision at UFC 160 – Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2 on May / 25 / 2013. Then Rony Mariano Bezerra via knockout at UFC Fight Night – Belfort vs. Henderson on Nov / 09 / 2013, and then Darren Elkins via unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 10 – Henderson vs. Thomson on Jan / 25 / 2014.
Here is the play-by-play from this fight:
Round 1: The two fire away with a variety of strikes. Cub with leg kicks, a real feeling out process. Stephens with a straight right. Cub tries to land a cartwheel kick, but just misses. That gets a nice pop from the fans. Stephens with a huge right hand and it drops Cub, but Cub gets right back to his feet. Stephens continues to throw bombs, but is missing just slightly. They also work on leg kicks, they exchange, Cub with a big right, then Stephens. Stephens with a takedown and stays in control to end this round.
Round 2: Stephens with a huge uppercut that hurts Cub, he hits a big right hand. Stephens is pressing and Cub needs to adjust. Stephens lands another big right, Stephens is just a totally different fighter in this round. Stephens works the body as well, Cub needs to do something. He finally fires away, but nothing major. Stephens lands a right hook, Stephens with another huge right hand that hurts Cub. Now, Cub is in survivor mode, Stephens with a takedown and puts him on the fence. He controls the action to end this round.
Round 3: Stephens with a big overhand right, Cub is trying to find his range, but eats a combo by Stephens. Cub with a body strike, that hurts Stephens. Cub pounces and tries to finish the fight, Stephens is back stepping. Cub is swinging for the fences, Stephens gets a single leg, but blocked and they clinch. Stephens with a flurry of strikes and looks for a takedown, this leads to both guys going to the fence. They break and exchange to end the round.
Round 4: Bonus rounds are underway. Stephens pressing forward and landing strikes. Not a ton of action, Cub trips and Stephens clinches with him where he puts him on the fence. Stephens with jabs, but Cub lands a left hand. Stephens with an attempted takedown, this leads to them going to the fence. Cub slides out and they exchange at a rapid pace to end the round.
Round 5: The fans are excited for the final round, they trade jabs, Cub is going for the win. Cub is starting to go back to the body of Stephens. He hits a cartwheel kick and mixing up things nicely. Stephens is stunned, and Cub is swinging for the fences. Cub is starting to pick Stephens apart and Stephens is just stunned that this is happening. They exchange in the pocket to end this fight.
Cub Swanson def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)