A pair of dangerous UFC featherweight contenders will do battle in San Antonio this June. Cub Swanson will clash with Jeremy Stephens in the main event of a June 28 Fight Night card in a bout that shapes up as an all-action war. Swanson has been on the shelf since a dominant victory over Dennis Siver at UFC 162 and subsequent elbow surgery. He’s itching to make his Octagon return and with his No. 4 ranking is on the verge of a title shot with another victory. Stephens has looked outstanding since making the move down to the 145-pound ranks and is fresh off a solid victory over Darren Elkins at UFC on FOX 10.
Swanson has been gunning for another shot at current featherweight champion Jose Aldo since a loss to the Brazilian back in 2009 when they fought in the WEC. Aldo landed a double flying knee moments into the contest and finished Swanson in just eight seconds. Swanson feels he’s a completely different fighter since that time and is hoping to get a chance to avenge that defeat. He’s reeled off five consecutive victories including four by way of finish since a loss to recent title challenger Ricardo Lamas. Swanson has an aggressive style that has produced eight knockouts and seven submission triumphs in 20 career victories.
“Lil’ Heathen” has been on a roll since he decided to leave the lightweight ranks after losing three straight fights. He’s been successful against Estevan Payan, Rony Jason and Elkins since the move down in weight. His knockout of Jason at Fight Night 32 was of the highlight reel variety as he knocked the Brazilian out cold in just 40 seconds with a devastating head kick. Stephens has showcased fearsome power during his career with 15 knockouts in 23 career victories. He’s been quick to rise the featherweight ranks currently sitting at No. 11 and will be facing his biggest test to date in Swanson.
This is a fight with major ramifications in the 145-pound division and conceivably could determine the next title challenger. Neither man has ever gone the five-round distance so that will be brand new territory for both in headlining a major event. With the finishing abilities of both of these men, there’s a high probability that this one won’t require going to the scorecards.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports