Cub Swanson won his sixth straight bout and stepped closer to a featherweight title shot in the main event of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 44. Swanson survived a second round scare to win a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens by scores of 49-46 (twice) and 48-47.
Stephens scored big in the second round with punches that rocked and wobbled Swanson but the Jackson/Winkeljohn fighter survived and rallied in the late rounds. Stephens' hard swinging may have taken its toll as he appeared to have hurt his left hand at some point.
Despite the hand injury and a nasty body kick that appeared to take the wind out of him, Stephens managed to ride out the storm and make it to the final horn. With the win, Swanson is expected to receive a shot at the winner of champion Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes' title rematch, though he isn't acting desparate for it.
"I won't beg, Swanson," said of the title shot.
The fighter does feel almost redeemed for his eight second KO loss to Aldo years ago. "It feels amazing," he said.
"What do you say? Six in a row. Have I redeemed myself or not?"
In the co-main event, Kelvin Gastelum earned a unanimous decision over Niko Musoke, Cesar Ferreira won a decision over Andrew Craig, and Ricardo Lamas earned a decision over Hacran Dias.