After a competitive featherweight striking battle in the main event of UFC Fight Night 44 this evening Cub Swanson emerged as the unanimous decision winner over Jeremy Stephens.
The main event of the evening is underway. Stephens misses with a leg kick, but Swanson lands his attempt to do the same.
Stephens does land a kick and Swanson goes for a front kick to the face that just glances his opponent.
Body kick for Sawnson and one to the leg for good measure. He tries to land a few punches too as he mixes things up.
Stephens with a straight right. Swanson with an inside leg kick. High kick for Swanson is blocked.
Swanson backing Stephens up and tries a cartwheel kick which looks great, but doesn’t land with much force.
Leg kick for Stephens and a punch to the chin from Swanson. Big right hand lands for Stephens and a strike to the body.
Hard leg kick for Swanson as we head into the final minute. Big right hand for Swanson lands. He’s looking for more, but Stephens lands a punch that sends him to the mat instead.
Stephens on top now, but Swanson seems ok and there’s not enough time left in the round for Stephens to really make his mark.
Low leg kick for Swanson. Spinning attack for Stephens misses.
Punch lands for Stephens and then just misses with an uppercut. Swanson in a defensive posture as Stephens looks to unleash some strikes, but he gets out before getting caught with another nasty.
Big right hand lands for Stephens and it sends Swanson backwards off-balance.
Nice left for Swanson now. Leg kick for Stephens. An exchange of kicks and Stephens with punches.
Right lands for Stephens hard and buckles Swanson’s legs a bit. He’s definitely finding a home for his big power punch here.
Despite that Swanson continues to move forward and even tries another cartwheel kick. Now he works a punch to the body.
Swanson coming up a little short with some of his punches now. Hard body kick lands for Stephens. Last 30 seconds of the round and Stephens briefly lands a takedown, but Swanson is right back up.
Stephens clinching him against the cage now as the round comes to a close. Good round for Stephens.
Overhand right from Stephens to start the third. Leg kick for Swanson, but Stephens counters with a punch.
Uppercut attempt misses for Swanson. Exchange in close and Stephens lands the harder punch.
Couple of punches for Stephens and Swanson is again a little short on his own. Nice right hand for Swanson though.
Big body kick for Swanson and Stephens seems to be hurt. Swanson pressing forward now and landing good punches.
Stephens still seems hurt and Swanson keeps the pressure up and lands a series of punches and just as he looks to be in real trouble Stephens reaches for a takedown which is unsuccessful, but buys him some precious time to recover.
When they break apart Swanson goes right back to pressuring him. Stephens opts to clinch him up against the cage. He’s potentially looking for a takedown, but mainly seems to be just slowing the pace of the fight down.
They break apart in teh final minute. Swanson tries a spinning kick to the head that’s blocked. Stephens tries another takedown attempt and settles for more clinch work against the cage.
Swanson really turned things around in this round and now it’s on to the championship rounds.
Stephens with a crisp one-two to start showing that he’s still very much in this fight. Swanson responds with a low leg kick.
Another leg kick for Swanson. Stephens throws a head kick that’s blocked. Nice right hand for Swanson.
Swanson showing some nice movement as Stephens tries to find a home for his punches.
Leg kick for Stephens. Hard leg kick for Swanson now as we approach the half way mark in the fourth. Stephens pressing forward with purpose now and Swanson stumbles. He gets back up and Stephens clinches him to the cage.
Swanson reverses and then backs out. Stephens lands a couple of solid punches to the head. Stephens in on a takedown attempt now, but Swanson stays on his feet.
Stephens pressing him up against the cage again and looking for a takedown, but Swanson is defending well.
Stephens gives up on that and lands an uppercut before backing out.
Nice combination of strikes for Swanson, landing punches and a kick. Stephens landing a few punches of his own now in the final few seconds of the round.
Stephens with a light kick to the leg. Swanson misses with one of his own. He tries for a takedown, but pulls out of it.
Stephens looks for the same, but also aborts the attempt. Swanson with a body punch. The two fighters fake strikes as they look for an opening.
Stephens lands to the body. Very hard body kick lands for Swanson and Stephens is backing up again looking potentially hurt.
He lands with a good right hand and more behind it. Stephens definitely in more of a defensive mode all of a sudden, but he survives this dangerous spell.
Stephens bleeding to the face now with less than two minutes to go. He’s backing up a bit again, but then lands a nice punch only to be met by a couple in return from Swanson.
They’re both starting to trade with regularity now in the center of the cage. Couple of punches land for Stephens. Another big right, but Swanson is taking them well and continuing to show a willingness to engage.
They slug it out in the final seconds and then embrace after the horn sounds. Good fight.
So after five competitive rounds it’s on to the scorecards and Swanson has done enough to earn a unanimous decision victory (49-46 x2, 48-47) that could lead him to a title shot at 145lbs.