UFC Fight Night 44 takes place in Texas on Saturday night, the second of two UFC events lined up for tomorrow and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens
Stephens has been doing well since dropping down to featherweight and has good power in his hands for the division which makes him a genuine threat here.
However, Swanson is a very talented striker who’s quicker, more versatile and more dynamic while also demonstrating serious KO power.
With that in mind a finish is certainly possible here, and even though Stephens will be tough to stop I think Swanson has the ability to do just that at some stage over the course of five rounds of fighting.
Cub Swanson to win by TKO in Rd4.
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nicholas Musoke
Gastelum looks to be one of the most promising TUF winners we’ve seen in a while and a win tomorrow should move him into the welterweight top 10, but Musoke’s also made a solid start to his UFC career, so there’s no guarantees here.
Musoke’s best chance here lies on the feet, but Gastelum should at the very least be able to hold his own in that regard and has a significant advantage in terms of wrestling and with submissions, so I favor him to emerge with his hand raised from this encounter.
Kelvin Gastelum to win by decision.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Andrew Craig
Ferreira’s coming off a KO loss which has derailed his momentum, so this is an important fight for him as he looks to show he can bounce back from that, while Craig will also have a point to prove after losing two of his last three bouts.
I feel Ferreira is the more technical striker here and certainly has the edge when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Craig’s athleticism and enthusiasm can make him awkward to deal with, but technique wise he’s still a bit raw and overall ‘Mutante’ will have the bigger, more eye-catching moments here which will help him when the fight heads to the scorecards.
Cezar Ferreira to win by decision.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias
Lamas might have come up short in his recent featherweight title fight, but he’s still a big threat for the rest of the division, including the vastly experienced Dias.
Dias poses a real threat from submissions and is a solid enough striker, but this just feels like a fight where Lamas is going to have the slight edge wherever the action goes, enabling him to eek out a decision victory.
Ricardo Lamas to win by decision.
Clint Hester vs. Antonio Braga Neto
Hester and Neto are both enjoying nice winning streaks at this moment in time, but that’s all about to change for one of them.
If Hester wins it’ll be on the feet, but he’s vulnerable to submissions and that just so happens to be BJJ ace Neto’s specialty, and I can see him forcing a tapout here.
Antonio Braga Neto to win by TKO in Rd2.
Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontasri
This is an odd match-up in that Ellenberger makes his debut 18 months since his last fight, whereas Moontasri comes in as a late replacement for his first UFC fight just a few weeks since his last bout.
Ellenberger is the twin brother of established UFC fighter Jake, and apart from the fact he’s competing at lightweight he’s similar in style with good wrestling and solid punching power, though not as potent as his sibling. Moontasri has some nice striking in his arsenal, but the circumstances surrounding this fight aren’t ideal for him, and I like Ellenberger to use his wrestling to win out here.
Joe Ellenberger to win by decision.
Colton Smith vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Johnny Bedford vs. Cody Gibson
Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Andy Enz
Ray Borg vs. Shane Howell
Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Anthony Hamilton