Cub Swanson Wins, Says He Does Not Beg
Cub Swanson stayed true to his words in the pre-fight interviews: He was just going to go out there to do his job and win six in a row and that he won’t call out anybody or a title shot.
Swanson outpointed Jeremy Stephens 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 in their five round main event bout on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 44 in San Antonio, Texas. It was Swanson’s sixth consecutive victory in the Octagon and ninth in his last twelve outings.
The #3 ranked featherweight is now tied with Featherweight King Jose Aldo and Dennis Bermudez for the longest active winning streak in the UFC featherweight division. But what makes Swanson’s streak more impressive is that it includes four knockouts. Stephens avoided being the fifth KO victim, but Swanson dominated him anyway.
Swanson lived up to his billing as an exciting fighter by displaying his vaunted firepower and attempting cartwheel kicks. Stephens was up to the challenge as he put up with Swanson’s striking in the first two rounds of the bout. But Stephen’s more diverse offense came through for him in the final fifteen minutes of the five round bout.
After Stephens nailed Swanson with numerous counter right hands in the first two rounds, his work ratio lowered in the third round due to a hand injury which he revealed after the bout. Stephens said that he “threw a left hook and then his left hand went numb.” He continued to use it the rest of the way but his striking was no longer effective in the second half of the bout.
Turning it Up
But with or without the injury, the night belonged to Cub Swanson who was fighting in a main event for the first time in his career. He seemed to turn it up a notch after round 2. Swanson said that he asked Coach Greg Jackson after round two if he wanted to “turn it up.” When his Coach told him “I’d like that”, Swanson readily obliged.
Swanson hurt Stephens with a kick to the liver in round three that seemed to take the fight away from him. And even when it was clear before round five started that he had won, Swanson fought like no tomorrow in the final round, hoping to put away the game Jeremy Stephens. Another kick to the liver late in the bout nearly ended it, but he ran out of time. In the end, he had to settle for the unanimous decision victory.
Painting a Picture
After the bout, Swanson gamely said that he “wanted to come out there and paint a picture.” The only picture he painted after the bout was the UFC featherweight belt. His string of victories have been very impressive and dominating. Aldo and Mendes fight for the UFC Featherweight title in August. Cub Swanson has earned the right to fight the winner of that bout. Anything short of a title shot in his next bout would be a clear highway robbery, even if Swanson didn’t beg.
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