MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Swanson vs. Stephens Headlines UFC Fight Night San Antonio

Cub Swanson The UFC is going to San Antonio, and the promotion is bringing a big featherweight fight along for the ride. It was announced yesterday that a five-round featherweight fight between top-ranked contenders Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens will headline UFC Fight Night San Antonio, which goes down June 28 in San Antonio, Texas. It’s expected the winner of the bout will be on the shortlist when it comes to who gets the next featherweight title shot. Swanson is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, but he hasn’t competed since UFC 162 last year due to injuries and some untimely fight bookings amongst the division’s other contenders. The 30-year-old is 5-1 overall in the UFC featherweight division, with wins over Dennis Siver, Dustin Poirier, Charles Oliveira, Ross Pearson, and George Roop, and the lone loss coming to top-ranked contender Ricardo Lamas. Although Swanson had been asking for a title shot ever since the big knockout win over Siver last summer, the UFC decided he needed another win under his belt before he gets a crack at the belt and thus they booked him against Stephens, who is on a bit of a roll himself. A long-time veteran of the UFC, Stephens is 3-0 since making the drop to 145 last year, with wins over Estevan Payan, Rony Jason, and Darren Elkins. Overall, Stephens is 10-8 in the UFC including his fights at lightweight, and at only 27 years of age he still has time to make a run up the ladder and get a crack at a UFC belt, something which has eluded him so far in his career. But with a win over Swanson, which would be his fourth-straight victory at 145 pounds, he would absolutely be on the short list of fighters vying for the next crack at the belt. As for a line on this fight, it’s close, but I would say Swanson deserves a slight edge based on the fact he is more proven in the weight class. That being said, Stephens has looked great at 145 so it would be hard to lay any sort of big juice on Swanson. But I’m thinking he’ll be around -160 here, which isn’t huge juice — it’s a close fight, after all. By the way, with the news of Swanson vs. Stephens being booked some have wondered how the division’s champion, Jose Aldo, as well as No. 1 contender Chad Mendes fit into current plans. Well there has been rumors swirling on Twitter that the promotion is planning on doing the rematch between Aldo and Mendes during the summer, although as of right now that is 100 percent a rumor and not at all verified. But it makes sense the UFC would do that based on the other matchups that have been booked. I’m looking forward to Swanson vs. Stephens and UFC Fight Night San Antonio can’t come soon enough. Get ready, Texas.

Written by Adam Martin.

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