UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens - Preliminary Card 'Just Bleed' Q & A Breakdown

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Only five fights highlight the Fox Sports 1 undercard for UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens in Spurs country. What names should you know, and what names will you forget?

Are there any non MMA topics worth discussing?

Other than that monarch butterflies use Earth's magnetic field to navigate when it's cloudy?

Besides boring science stuff.

I wish I could call in sick on Friday to gorge myself on the NHL draft and a plate of biscuits and gravy, but alas...duty calls.

Mmm...biscuits and gravy...

You would think finding a place that serves soft buttery biscuits drenched in pepper gravy and sausage would be easy to find here in Texas, but no. Somebody who actually gets oxygen from a place other than their computer desk, please help me on this one in the comments below. In fact, the meal is on me if you're in town for this weekend's event.

Great idea. Wait...you're going aren't you?

Not sure. My friends are cheap sellouts, and the card is simply ok.

Like the undercard?

No. The undercard is lackluster. You have a handful of ok fighters in uninteresting matchups, and one or two solid prospects (Borg).

No love for TUF Finale winner Colton Smith vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira at Lightweight?

Yes and no. Colton Smith has already made TUF history: he's the first fighter to be winless after capturing the six figure contract upon winning TUF. This shouldn't be all that shocking. If you recall, I did a breakdown of TUF winning percentages, and Smith happened to be part of a season with a combined win percentage that was second worst all time (40%) and contributed to the least amount of UFC contracts following TUF at 4 total.

At the same time, the guy is highly inexperienced, and his last two loses have come against Robert Whittaker and Michael Chiesa. Whittaker is a little underrated in my opinion, and Chiesa is flat out good at mixed martial arts.

He has to contend with Carlos Diego Ferreira who will prove to be a very difficult test for him. Smith was never much of an athlete, and got by on intangibles: persistent, and dogged which is the most I can say about him at this point in his career. Ferreira is not a prospect at 29 years of age, but he has picked up some solid wins outside of the UFC: namely Jorge Patino, and Carlo Prater. Carlos is a solid grappler but he has a very unorthodox rhythm on the feet is nonetheless difficult to deal with. His knees, kicks, and punches always seem a hair too slow, yet he lands with regularity. I expect this fight to be ugly, but ugly will get it done against Smith.

What about Ray Borg?

BE readers stole all the good Star Trek jokes, so I've got nothing to add except that there is essentially no footage that exists on him. Although some does exist .

I'm actually very excited about him. He's 20 years old, and looks to be an athlete in addition to being a fighter. He's fluid on the ground, and seems more than willing to vary his striking attack with a high wire act. His opponent, Shane Howell, is basically tailor made for him. Howell is exactly what you'd expect from a fighter who is 13-7 and 30 years old: tough, but not talented. He loves to slug it out, winding up on uppercuts and hooks, so look for his quest to win FOTN backfire against the much more dynamic Borg.

Johnny Bedford vs. Cody Gibson (who is +160) at Bantamweight?

Bedford is rightfully the favorite. He's a massive BM with a high finishing rate, lots of experience, and a killer instinct. While I think the fight will be competitive in spots because Gibson phase shifts well, I don't see him stopping the takedowns, nor do I think he'll avoid Bedford's punches for too long, which you can't exactly take in abundance.

What about the guy who beat Mirko Filipovic by cranking his neck?

Oleksiy Oliynyk?

I don't know what to say. That fight was awful, and sort of embarrassing. While I understand Mirko's response to Fedor basically questioning his will, I don't understand that defense that "it could happen to anyone". No Mirko, in point of fact, it cannot to happen to anyone.

Could it happen to Anthony Hamilton, however?

I don't know. Hamilton is a 34 year old journeyman training out of Jackson-Wink MMA who has wrestling chops dating back to 2000 with his time spent as an NJCAA All-American, but I don't know that his size and wrestling will be enough to counter Oliynyk's submissions, or his boxing. Hamilton is a plodding fighter who is good in the clinch and when being aggressive on top, but is by no means a fresh faced wrestle-boxer.

Before I forget Marcelo Guimaraes is fighting. I don't know that a fight with Andy Enz will be all that entertaining, but if there's a reason to watch him, here's a reasonable waste of 20 seconds "articulating" why.

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