Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Doc Octagon Staff: UFC Fight Night 44 Predictions

UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens goes down this Saturday night from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The main event could very well give us the next featherweight title challenger, as Cub Swanson takes on Jeremy Stephens. The event has an Ultimate Fighter feel to it. Kelvin Gastelum and Cezar Ferreira, two Ultimate Fighter winners, are set to fight Nicholas Musoke and Andrew Craig, respectively.

Former title challenger, Ricardo Lamas, Hacran Dias in a featured featherweight bout. Another veteran of TUF, Clint Hester, looks to remain unbeaten in the UFC by defeating Antonio Braga Neto. Rounding out the main card is Joe Ellenberger, who makes his long awaited UFC debut against James Moontasri. While low on stars, this card should give us some pretty exciting moments.

Let’s take a closer look at how the Staff at Doc Octagon think these fights will play out.

 

Israel Soliz (4-5)

Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontasri

With both fighters making their UFC debut, this is a hard fight to call. Ellenberger hasn’t fought in 18 months, so there could be a little rust, and it may take some time to get into a rhythm. Moontasri has a pretty decent striking game and has some powerful kicks. Both fighters will have some nerves going in and will probably fight cautiously.

Ellenberger via decision

 

Clint Hester vs. Antonio Braga Neto

Clint Hester is riding a three fight winning streak and Antonio Braga Neto hasn’t fought in over a year. Neto has a wicked jiu-jitsu game and can lock in a submission at any time. Hester has a decent takedown defense, but it probably won’t be enough to keep Neto off of him.

Neto via submission

 

Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias

Ricardo Lamas is the number three ranked UFC featherweight and has his eyes set on another title shot. But he should not be looking past Dias, who is a solid fighter. Dias trains alongside current division champ Jose Aldo and could have some insight on how to beat Lamas.

Lamas via split decision

 

Cezar Ferreira vs. Andrew Craig

Both fighters are coming off losses and will be looking to get a victory to gain some relevance in the middleweight division. Ferreira has a superior ground game and will look to take this fight to the ground from the opening bell. Craig will try to push the pace and use his striking to rack up some points.

Ferreira via decision

 

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nicholas Musoke

Kelvin Gastelum is coming off a big win over Rick Story and looks to continue winning against the lightly regarded Nicholas Musoke. On paper, this looks like a lopsided matchup. Musoke doesn’t have great takedown defense, so expect Gastelum to take him down at will.

Gastelum via submission

 

Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens

This fight should be a slugfest. With a win, Swanson could get a title shot. So expect him to go all out. Stephens is 3-0 since moving into the division and is making a pretty big jump in fighter quality against Swanson.

Swanson via KO

 

Adam Conklin (6-3)

Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontasri

I really do believe that the cloth from which older brother Jake was cut from, will carry over to his brother Joe, who I see putting together a veteran performance, despite this being his Octagon debut. I don’t see a finish, but Joe will push the pace and wear Moontasri out to earn a decision win.

Joe Ellenberger via unanimous decision

 

Clint Hester vs. Antonio Braga Neto

This is Hester’s arrival. I believe that tonight is when he will put it all together and remind of his striking prowess that the fans weren’t fully shown in his 2 previous outings. Hester finishes this in the second after a long descent for Neto.

Clint Hester via TKO

 

Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias

For such a focused mindset as seen in Ricardo Lamas, the loss of his bid for the UFC featherweight strap is bad news for the division. Despite Dias’ hype (which is all but extinguished at this point), I believe Lamas’ experience in the UFC will carry him to a decision win. Dias has fought just twice from 2012-13 and we’re already halfway through 2014 before Dias will have stepped foot in the Octagon.

Ricardo Lamas via unanimous decision

 

Cezar Ferreira vs. Andrew Craig

This is my dark horse fight on the main card. Both of these guys were destined for big things in 2013, but now face one another coming off of losses. While the loss to Dolloway wasn’t a fluke, I still see Ferreira with the proper tools to win this fight. His movement and fluidity in his strikes will hopefully show through for him.

Cezar Ferreira via unanimous decision

 

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nicholas Musoke

Gastelum is again in trouble with his weight after missing the mark by a pound-and-a-half before his bout with Musoke. The guy is a phenom too but tonight will be Musoke’s with a devastating upset. Gastelum may have some demons in his head from training camp or perhaps a lingering injury, and I believe Musoke stands just opposite of such things.

Nicholas Musoke via unanimous decision

 

Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens

I have been looking forward to not only this fight, but the return of Cub Swanson; a longtime 145er and the next man to fight for the featherweight title. He will make quick work of Stephens, who is riding momentum, but will fall short to capitalize on this opportunity to the faster and more lethal Swanson.

Cub Swanson via KO

 

Israel Gonzalez (5-4)

Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontasri

I have to admit that I don’t know anything about Moontasri. Ellenberger, I do know. His story is incredible. One that I am 100% behind. No logic is going into this one. In fact, I’m picking with my heart, here. Ellenberger takes another step in his comeback trail.

Ellenberger via TKO

 

Clint Hester vs. Antonio Braga Neto

Hester is easily the quietest undefeated in the UFC fighter on the roster. At 3-0, Hester is closing in on a future top 15 ranking. Neto is about as dangerous a fighter as there is in the UFC. Seven of his nine wins have come by submission. If it isn’t broken, why fix it? Neto will be too much on the ground for Hester. By the time Hester figures out what to do, it’ll be too late.

Neto via submission

 

Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias

It’s got to be tough for Lamas to go from fighting Jose Aldo to fighting Hacran Dias. But with all other featherweight locked up, this was the next best thing. Lamas may very well be the second best fighter at 145. But in Dias, he faces a legitimate challenge; one who is well rested. Dias will have his moments, but Lamas should be the one with his hand raised after three grueling rounds.

Lamas via unanimous decision

 

Cezar Ferreira vs. Andrew Craig

Someone forgot to tell Ferreira that fighting like Vitor and being compared to Vitor, does not make you Vitor. The point was made clear to him by C.B. Dolloway. At 29, Ferreira needs to get his act together quickly, if he wishes to move up the 185-pound ladder. Craig, on the other hand, has a ceiling that he cannot quite break through. At 1-2 in his last three, Craig often struggles with more talented fighters, and rarely changes his game plan. If Ferreira keeps his head on straight, he should win this.

Ferreira via submission

 

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nicholas Musoke

Gastelum has been a pleasant surprise in the UFC, which includes his time on TUF. At 3-0, Gastelum may very well be one of the best prospects to come out of TUF. In Musoke, he takes on a guy that is without a doubt, better suited for 170. I believe this fight comes down to who’s power translates well from 185 to 170. Musoke could end up being a very good fighter, but that is something that Gastelum already is. The TUF 17 winner squeaks by with a split decision win.

Gastelum via split decision

 

Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens

I feel like Swanson should have been given the title shot over Chad Mendes. Maybe I’m in the minority on that one, but I feel like his body of work, especially lately, has been at the very least, as impressive as Mendes’. Five straight wins, with four coming by either TKO or KO, should be enough. But, in this case, it isn’t. As for Jeremy Stephens, hard to believe that the last visual of him at 155 was getting knocked out cold by Yves Edwards. Three wins later, and as crazy as this sounds, he could be fighting for a title if he wins this fight. I don’t think that happens, though. Swanson, aside from power, is better than Stephens no matter where the fight takes place. Swanson wins this won by TKO and earns his shot at the title.

Swanson via TKO

Tags: Cub Swanson UFC Fight Night 44 UFC.

comments powered by Disqus