After a week hiatus, the UFC is back in a big way, giving MMA fans a double dose of UFC action starting in the wee hours of the morning. First up is UFC Fight Night 43 exclusively airing on UFC Fight Pass from Auckland, New Zealand. In the main event, James Te-Huna takes on Nate Marquardt in a middleweight battle.
Later on in the day, UFC Fight Night 44 comes your way live on Fox Sports 1 from San Antonio, Texas. In the main event, Cub Swanson returns to the Octagon to take on the streaking Jeremy Stephens in a critical featherweight match up.
Today we make 3 bold predictions for the UFC’s double header this Saturday.
3. The loser of the main event of UFC Fight Night 43 will be released by the UFC
It is hard to believe that the UFC booked James Te-Huna vs Nate Marquardt as a main event. Many pundits and fans alike were shocked when the UFC announced the matchup, as both men are a combined 0-5 in their last five bouts.
The only logical reasoning for the matchup is due to the fact that Te-Huna was born in New Zealand and the local fans will have a hometown favorite to cheer for.
Although these two men are in the main event, there is no question they could be fighting for their jobs on Saturday night. Te-Huna is dropping down to middleweight after losing two in a row at light heavyweight, including a ferocious knockout loss to Shogun Rua. Marquardt is moving back up to middleweight after losing three straight, the last two by knockout, in the welterweight division.
Both men need to put on an exciting fight and an impressive performance in order to keep their jobs come Sunday morning. Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that one of these men will be out of the UFC after they lose on Saturday night.
2. Soa Palelei will get another first round KO
Soa Palelei is a dangerous man inside the Octagon. In his first three UFC bouts, Palelei has finished all of his opponents, including the last two within the first half of the very first round.
Unbelievably, Palelei is on an 11 fight winning streak overall, and all 11 victories have come by way of KO/TKO. Nine of those eleven knockouts have come in the first round.
Palelei takes on Jared Rosholt in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 43, and fans should expect another knockout win for Palelei.
Although Rosholt is on a hot streak, winning his last six bouts, his lone defeat in his career came by way of knockout at the hands of Derrick Lewis back in 2012 before either fighter was in the UFC.
Expect Palelei to stuff Rosholt’s takedowns, and stop him within the first few minutes with a barrage of heavy punches.
1. Cub Swanson will earn a UFC title shot by finishing Jeremy Stephens
Cub Swanson is back and he is ready to throw down with Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 44. Swanson has been out of action since defeating Denis Siver by TKO at UFC 162 last July, but don’t expect ring rust to effect Swanson on Saturday night.
Swanson has looked unbeatable as of late, reeling off five straight victories with four finishes. Swanson simply finishes fights in impressive fashion, and fans should expect nothing less of Cub when he steps into the Octagon against Stephens.
Stephens has been finished four times in his career, but has not suffered a loss in his last three outings. Expect a valiant fight from Stephens, but Swanson will put him to sleep in the second round in order to procure a UFC featherweight title shot.