Posted 06/26/2014 by Mike Fagan in Untethered MMA

UFC Fight Night 44: Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens Preview

Hey guys, remember me? I was the guy who wrote about UFC Fight Night 43 earlier today. That’s a bad card. It also starts at 2:30 a.m. ET. (That’s the prelim start, because if you’re dumb enough to watch that event, you’re dumb enough to watch it from the start.) I have some good news! The day’s second event is live from San Antonio, and the first prelim kicks off at the very reasonable 7:30 p.m. ET. But there’s bad news! The main card doesn’t start until 10 p.m. And there are six fights. And only the main event is really any good.

For those keeping track at home, if you want to watch all the exciting UFC action on Saturday, you’ll have to navigate a card scheduled to run from 2:30 a.m. to about 7:30 a.m. Then you’ll have to dust yourself off at 7:30 p.m. and hope to maintain consciousness until sometime after 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Good luck; you’ll need it!


Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens is a pretty good indicator of what a cable TV UFC show main event is gonna/should look like going forward. Swanson and Stephens are both ranked, they’re not boring, and Swanson should be next in line for Jose Aldo, assuming the latter gets by Chad Mendes a second time. The problem is the rest of the card is whatever, but then again this is an event with a main card kicking off at 10 p.m. so it’s decent late-night filler for Fox Sports 1.


If you’re a long-time follower of yours truly, you might remember a feature I did called “The Week in Quotes” over at Bloody Elbow. I’d collect a bunch of quotes from MMA people over the course of a week and then attempt to make humorous remarks. It worked, sometimes, but enough people seemed to like it or whatever.

Anyway, one time I made a quip about Jeremy Stephens:

“Why not go out and put on a [expletive] war and get knocked out?” – Jeremy Stephens, upset with the hit-and-run strategy implemented by Melvin Guillard at UFC 119. And now we know why Jeremy Stephens will never amount to anything in MMA. (Bloody Elbow)

This set off the fine folks at The Underground, a place for wayward children not yet tall enough to ride the forums. Some excerpts:

-Another example of how MMA journalism is a fucking oxymoron. – piratepirate
-What a douchebag writer. Ill bet Mike Fagan will never amount to anything in MMA. Except a bitter second rate MMA journalist wannabe! – JumpKnee
-Is his name really Fagan? Or are you just adding a letter to make him sound gay – Georbraham Linkington
-Fagan and Tommy Rios should blow each other… – Peckerwood
-Guys like Ariel get such get interviews and material because they respect and LIKE the fighters, as well as the fact that they dont pretend they know SHIT about what it is to be fighters. – brahmabull81
-Mike Fagan is one of the worst journalists around. Along with Rios. I suggest everyone let’s him know how they feel. – Mr Pulla
-Haha I know. Kid Nate writes some good pieces, his judo chop series is awesome. Oh well. – Mr Pulla
-Who’s this Fackin Faggot Ass Fagan Fag? – KOArtist

Anyway, I bring this all up to point out Stephens career. He went 7-5 at lightweight before losing to Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, and Yves Edwards brought his UFC record back below .500 and caused him to move down to 145 pounds. He’s gone 3-0 since, earning himself the #11 spot in the UFC’s prestigious rankings.

It’s silly to defend what was an off-handed jokey remark, but whatever, let’s plow ahead anyway. Did Stephens “amount to something in MMA”? Yeah, sure. Nineteen fights in the UFC is an accomplishment in its own right. (Hell, the UFC liked him so much, they stuck with him despite a serious assault charge!) Was he the guy I thought he was back in 2010? Yes, yes he was. A mid-level lightweight/featherweight who may bounce in and out of fringe top ten status. I win, Underground.


-Kevin Gastelum fights noted fish fighter Nicholas Musoke.

-This is the UFC’s first trip to San Antonio. I’ll set the over/under on Spurs in attendance at 1. I’ll set the over/under on Spurs starting five in attendance at 0.5. Any takers?

-Bellator, M-1 Global, BodogFight, KSW, and YAMMA Pit Fighting veteran Oleksiy Oliynyk makes his UFC debut. Rogan and Goldberg Anik and Stann will not probably pronounce his name the same way twice the whole night.

Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. Follow him on Twitter


Mike Fagan