UFC Fight Night 44: Swanson vs Stephens is one week from today and will be the second card of a busy June 28 for the UFC. Our main card predictions and bets for UFC Fight Night 43 were released earlier this week. Fight Night 44 goes down from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The two events gives us a good opportunity to bounce back from our slight loss at UFC 174: Johnson vs Bagautinov, but our ROI remains at 20% since the start of this year, the details of which can be found in our track record. If you haven’t got your copy of Fightnomics yet, you’re missing out as it breaks down most of the important statistics around MMA outcomes.
The main event of this card features an interesting featherweight match-up between Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens. Stephens is a long time UFC vet at the age of 28 having already fought 18 times for the organization. He actually began his UFC career at the age of 19 and made it to the UFC at the age of 21. The wars Stephens has been in have likely taken the affect of weakening his always solid chin, but since dropping down to featherweight, he has won 3 straight over relatively decent competition and is now the #11 ranked UFC featherweight. We expect that to stop in dramatic fashion versus Cub Swanson. Swanson is the #4 ranked UFC featherweight and has won 5 straight with 4 of 5 coming by TKO. In fact, his only 3 losses in the last 5 years have come to divison champ, Jose Aldo, number 1 contender Chad Mendes and former number 1 contender Ricardo Lamas. Our model has Swanson as a big time favourite to win and at 1.40 (-250), we think there’s enough value there to make it a parlay leg. As for the over/under line which currently is 2.5 rounds, we would lean towards whichever side pays plus money, but with the under at 2.35 (+135), it’s not quite high enough to justify a bet.
The co-main event of this card features TUF 17 winner and undefeated Kelvin Gastelum taking on Nicholas Musoke. The line for us not to bet Gastelum in this scenario would have to be incredibly steep. At 8-0 and with a decent resume, there is little chance of Musoke being able to adjust to the big step up in competition. Realistically, this fight doesn’t even make a lot of sense. It is pretty obvious the UFC is putting Musoke in against Gastelum to get Gastelum a dominant win to build his brand. Expect Gastelum to get the job done quickly, either by TKO or submission.
Our final model pick of the main card is former title challenger Ricardo Lamas to defeat Hacran Dias. Dias is only 1-1 in the UFC while Lamas is 4-1 with his only loss coming to division champ, Jose Aldo. Surprisingly Lamas is 1.54 (-185) which provides some great betting value. We made him the third leg of our parlay and bet 3 units on Swanson/Gastelum/Lamas Parlay at 2.74 (+174) at 5Dimes.
Clint Hester to defeat Antonio Braga Neto can go down as a lean of ours. It only pays 2.35 (+135) and the obvious concern is there are holes in Hester’s ground game which could be exploited by Neto. The holes are enough that this fight is pretty much 50/50 and not something we want to lay our money on.
That’s it for our main card predicions and bets. We’ll be back early next week with our betting tips for the full card of both UFC Fight Night 43: Te Huna vs Marquardt and UFC Fight Night 44: Swanson vs Stephens.
Swanson/Gastelum/Lamas Parlay. 3 units at 2.74 (+174) at 5Dimes