UFC Fight Night 44: "Swanson vs Stephens" Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship’s latest doubleheader of fight cards continued tonight with UFC Fight Night 44: “Swanson vs Stephens” at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The event was headlined by a featherweight showdown between Cub Swanson and Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens.

Also on the card tonight, TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum took on Nicholas “Nico” Musoke in a welterweight matchup. Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira clashed with Andrew “Highlight” Craig in a featured bout in the middleweight division. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the UFC Fight Night 44 main card.


Cub Swanson vs Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens

Round 1:
Swanson countered early punches from Stephens with a front kick to the face. He landed a liver kick soon after and mixed things up with quick punches. Stephens landed a right hook and Swanson threw another flurry and a cartwheel kick. Stephens sent him off-balance with a counter right hand, but Swanson regained his footing and landed a chopping leg kick. He landed a hard right hand and a body kick, but Stephens caught the kick and knocked him down with a right hook. The round ended seconds later. 10-9 Swanson.

Round 2:
The second round began with another exchange of leg kicks and punches and both men connected with some solid strikes. Swanson began to slow down and Stephens took advantage by landing an overhand right. Swanson was briefly wobbled, but he regained his composure and fired off a right hand of his own. He followed with another cartwheel kick and this one partially landed. Stephens targeted the body with a powerful kick and a one-two late in the round. 10-9 Stephens.

Round 3:
Both men landed leg kicks in round three and Swanson connected with an overhand right. He just missed with an uppercut seconds later. The fighters traded right hands and Swanson hurt Stephens with a kick to the body. He pressured him with punches and Stephens circled away in an effort to buy time to recover. Stephens clinched and tried for a takedown against the cage. He landed a knee to Swanson’s face as the fighters separated. Swanson tried for a spinning wheel kick and he fought off a takedown before the bell. 10-9 Swanson.

Round 4:
Swanson kept his distance and landed jabs and leg kicks during the opening two minutes of round four. He avoided Stephens’s power punches and chopped away at his lead leg. The fighters clinched briefly and Stephens landed a nice combination. He tried for a takedown and Swanson stayed on his feet. Swanson flurried with punches and finished the combination with a kick to the upper body. 10-9 Swanson.

Round 5:
Swanson bloodied Stephens’s nose with punches early in the final round, but Stephens was game and he answered back with a combination of his own. Leg kicks were exchanged and Swanson hurt Stephens again with a liver kick. He pressed forward with punches and a cartwheel kick. Stephens recovered and Swanson kicked at his lead leg. He landed a winging right hook, but Stephens cracked him with a pair of right hands. He landed two more hard right hooks before time expired. 10-9 Swanson.

Winner: Cub Swanson by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) after five rounds. He improves to 21-5-0.


Kelvin Gastelum vs Nicholas “Nico” Musoke

Round 1:
Musoke landed a combination in the opening seconds and he clinched with Gastelum against the cage. Musoke got Gastelum down and briefly held back control, but Gastelum powered free and returned to his feet. Musoke picked him up and slammed him back down. He took Gastelum’s back for a second time and worked for a rear-naked choke. Gastelum defended and turned into Musoke’s guard. He postured up with punches just before the bell. 10-9 Musoke.

Round 2:
Gastelum was aggressive with punches and kicks in the second round that backed Musoke up early on. He weathered the storm and landed a counter body kick. Gastelum landed two more kicks and Musoke answered with a quick one-two. Big punches and knees scored for Gastelum and Musoke was forced to backpedal. Gastelum kicked at Musoke’s lead leg and put together quick flurries of punches. In the final minute, Gastelum landed vicious kicks to the liver and upper body. 10-9 Gastelum.

Round 3:
Gastelum continued to pressure Musoke with punches and a variety of kicks in round three. Lead right hooks opened a cut on Musoke’s lip and Gastelum followed with a head kick. Musoke tried to take him down and Gastelum reversed a clinch. He landed a hard one-two and another body kick. Gastelum threw a series of liver kicks, but Musoke cut him over the right eye with counterpunches. Late in the fight, Gastelum landed two head kicks and the bout ended with both men throwing punches. 10-9 Gastelum.

Winner: Kelvin Gastelum by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 9-0-0.


Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira vs Andrew “Highlight” Craig

Round 1:
Ferreira landed a hard left hand that dropped Craig early in the fight and he landed knees to the shoulder as Craig attempted to get back to his feet. Ferreira looked to set up a front choke and Craig scrambled free. Ferreira landed a combination and a leg kick and Craig answered with punches of his own. Time was called after Craig was poked in the eye.

Action resumed and a now-bloodied Craig scored with a big overhand right. Both men landed hard kicks to the body and quick flurries of punches. With just over 30 seconds to go, Ferreira rushed forward and took Craig down near the fence. Craig used the cage to get back to his feet and the fighters traded strikes at the bell. 10-9 Ferreira.

Round 2:
Ferreira threw kicks to Craig’s liver in the second round and he followed with a rushing one-two. Craig looked to close the distance and he ate a knee to the body for his efforts. Ferreira continued to mix things up with high kicks, punches and a spinning backfist attempt. Craig walked Ferreira down and threw front kicks and single punches, but Ferreira kept him at bay with body kicks. He shrugged off a Craig takedown attempt and landed a leg kick just before time expired. 10-9 Ferreira.

Round 3:
Ferreira opened a big gash on Craig’s head with a standing elbow early in the final round. He took Craig down and quickly transitioned to back control. Ferreira positioned his back against the cage and looked to set up a rear-naked choke. He landed short punches to the sides of Craig’s head and continued to hunt for the choke. Craig bled everywhere from the cut on his forehead, but he eventually scrambled to his feet and dropped Ferreira with a hook. Ferreira stood and the tired fighters traded wild strikes. Craig attempted head kicks late in the round. 10-9 Ferreira.

Winner: Cezar Ferreira by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 8-3-0.


Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas vs Hacran “Barnabe” Dias

Round 1:
The fighters exchanged jabs and leg kicks in the opening minute and both men landed uppercuts in close. Lamas landed more jabs and Dias responded with left hooks. More leg kicks were exchanged and Dias backed Lamas up against the cage. Dias reversed and the fighters battled for position. Lamas tried for a takedown and Dias stuffed it. He landed a nice combination and kept Lamas guessing in the final minute. 10-9 Dias.

Round 2:
Dias clinched with Lamas again in round two, but Lamas countered with a brief takedown and he held back control against the cage as Dias stood back up. Lamas kneed Dias’s thighs until Dias broke free and circled away. Lamas wasted no time in clinching again and he tried to take Dias down. Dias stayed on his feet and landed a combination, but Lamas finally managed to get him down. Dias stood and Lamas landed short left hands. Dias created space, but Lamas landed two body kicks and the round ended with an exchange of big punches. 10-9 Lamas.

Round 3:
Lamas jumped on Dias’s back and attempted a standing rear-naked choke in round three, but Dias shrugged him off and took top position on the ground. The fighters stood and Lamas countered a takedown with a guillotine choke. Dias escaped and he worked for another takedown against the cage. Dias got Lamas down and took his back, but he lost the position in a scramble and the fight returned to the feet. Lamas kneed Dias in the thigh and Dias answered with elbows. The fight ended with both men landing punches. 10-9 Lamas.

Winner: Ricardo Lamas by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 14-3-0.


Clint “Headbussa” Hester vs Antonio Braga Neto

Round 1:
Hester opened the action with a body kick and Braga Neto countered by working for a takedown. He got Hester down against the cage and worked to set up a submission from the top. Hester defended and got back to his feet, but Braga Neto promptly took him back down. He landed punches and elbows from the top until the end of the round. 10-9 Braga Neto.

Round 2:
Hester kept his distance and landed leg kicks and one-twos in the second round. Braga Neto responded with knees in close and followed with a front kick. Hester reversed a takedown and wound up on top, but Braga Neto quickly swept into mount. He landed punches and elbows from the top, then eyed a kimura on Hester’s right arm. Hester defended until the bell. 10-9 Braga Neto.

Round 3:
Hester stuffed an early takedown from Braga Neto and landed some hard punches to the head and body. He slipped while throwing a right hand and Braga Neto settled into his guard. Braga Neto landed short punches and elbows from the top and transitioned to mount, but Hester swept and spent much of the round punching from Braga Neto’s guard. The fighters were stood up and Braga Neto secured a late takedown. 10-9 Hester.

Winner: Clint Hester by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 11-3-0.


Joe “Excalibur” Ellenberger vs James “Moonwalker” Moontasri

Round 1:
Ellenberger immediately shot in for a takedown, but Moontasri defended. Ellenberger dropped levels again and he secured a front choke as Moontasri kneeled in defence. The fighters returned to their feet and Moontasri dropped Ellenberger with a counter uppercut. He swarmed on Ellenberger with more punches and elbows, but Ellenberger narrowly survived. On the feet, Moontasri hurt Ellenberger again and stuffed a takedown. Ellenberger fell to his back and Moontasri nearly mounted him. He landed more punches in the final 20 seconds. 10-8 Moontasri.

Round 2:
Ellenberger landed a lunging left hook in round two and countered a kick from Moontasri by taking his back and dragging him to the mat. He worked for a rear-naked choke against the cage and transitioned to S-mount. Moontasri held on as Ellenberger dropped elbows from the top. Ellenberger locked on a Brabo choke, but Moontasri scrambled free and wound up on top. The fighters stood and an exhausted Ellenberger managed to score a takedown against the fence. He landed punches with his left hand until the bell. 10-9 Ellenberger.

Round 3:
Ellenberger once again worked for a takedown early in round three and Moontasri defended against the cage. He broke free and landed a head kick, but Ellenberger closed back in and got him down. Moontasri smiled and threw punches as Ellenberger held him against the cage. Moontasri stood and fought off a takedown attempt from Ellenberger. He landed elbows and sprawled out of another Ellenberger takedown. From his back, Ellenberger tried for a triangle choke and Moontasri punched to the body. Close round. 10-9 Moontasri.

Winner: Joe Ellenberger by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 15-1-0.


Undercard Fights:

– Carlos Diego Ferreira defeated Colton Smith by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 0:38 of round one. He improves to 10-0-0 with the win.

– Cody “The Renegade” Gibson defeated Johnny “Brutal” Bedford by TKO (Punch) at 0:38 of round one. He improves to 12-4-0 with the win.

– Marcelo “Magrao” Guimarães defeated Andy “Tank Mode” Enz by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-30) after three rounds. He improves to 9-1-1 with the win.

– Ray “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg defeated Shane Howell by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:17 of round one. He improves to 7-1-0 with the win.

– Alexey “The Boa Constrictor” Oleinik defeated Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton by Submission (Neck Crank) at 2:18 of round one. He improves to 49-9-1 with the win.