Cub Swanson TKO'd Ross Pearson in the second round of their UFC on FX 4 featherweight clash. (Photo credit: Nick Laham/ZUFFA LLC)
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Since dropping his UFC debut to Ricardo Lamas last November, Cub Swanson insists he’s a changed fighter.
Given his last two results, you cant’ argue he’s hitting his stride.
Swanson, an eight-fight veteran of the WEC, improved to 2-1 in the Octagon and notched his second consecutive TKO victory when he finished Ross Pearson at 4:14 of the second round during Friday’s UFC on FX 4 card.
UFC on FX 4 took place inside Ovation Hall at Revel Resort and Casino. The main card was televised live on FX while the preliminary card was broadcast on FUEL TV and streamed on Facebook.
Swanson was down 10-9 on two of the three scorecards after the first round but continued to pressure Pearson with volatile strikes that seemed to come from everywhere. Swanson’s free-wheeling strikes were wild at times, allowing Pearson to duck under for takedowns and land a few solid punches from top position. But with under a minute left in the second round, Swanson threw a high kick that connected but also caught by Pearson. As Pearson looked to control the leg, Swanson caught him with a straight left that rocked the Brit and left him crumpled on the canvas. Swanson followed with ground strikes, the first of which missed, as referee Yves Lavigne dove in to stop the fight at 4:14 of round two.
“I’ve grown over time and being more in the spotlight,” Swanson said during the post-fight press conference. “I’m 28 now, and I feel like I’m hitting my groove and putting things together.”
His TKO victory earned him a $50,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus, his fourth performance bonus under the ZUFFA banner.
“Cub Swanson looked awesome tonight,” said UFC President Dana White. “Pearson is a guy I have a lot of respect for. Not only did he win, he knocked him out. It’s a really good win.”
Some thought Lavigne stopped the fight a tad too early, but both White and Swanson felt it was the right call.
“Earlier in the night Yves had made a call people were questioning (Ramsey Nijem’s TKO over C.J. Keith) and I thought he redeemed himself with a great stoppage in this fight,” White said. ”When (Pearson) went down his arms were down and he wasn’t able to protect himself. I’m actually happy Cub missed that first shot when he went down.”
“He looked like he fell pretty weird against the cage,” Swanson said. “If they didn’t pull me off I was going to make sure he didn’t get up. I knew the punch fazed him pretty good and I thought it was a good stoppage.”
Swanson saw his overall record improve to 17-5 while Pearson’s record fell to 13-6 and 5-3 in the UFC.
Sam Stout’s Newfound Wrestling Skills Help Him Take Rubber Match with Spencer Fisher
Five years removed from their second fight, Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher were much different fighters and much different stages of their careers. How different, exactly, we found out Friday night.
Stout flashed some new wrestling chops, taking down a crisp Spencer Fisher three times in key spots to earn a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x 3) in the conclusion of their trilogy. The 28-year old Stout (18-7-1 MMA, 7-6 UFC), entering the prime of his MMA career, won his third fight in his last four outings and also picked up “Fight of the Night” honors.
“My wrestling game is something I’ve really been working on for a while, but I’ve been keeping a low profile,” Stout said. “I grew up as kickboxer so I was always conditioned to just defend takedowns and get back to my feet. But this was the right time to showcase I’m a mixed martial artist, and I knew Spencer wouldn’t be expecting it and it would give me the edge to steal those rounds and get that win.”
Fisher, 36, hinted at retirement leading up to the fight but was not at the press conference and was not interviewed inside the Octagon following the fight. However, he told FUEL TV in a post-fight interview he will likely retire. If a comeback is in order, he said it will come in the featherweight division.
The Stout-Fisher trilogy, a rarity in MMA, began with one of the best fights in UFC history, a split-decision win for Stout at UFC 58. Fisher evened the series with a unanimous decision victory at UFC Fight Night: Stout vs. Fisher, in 2007. In the days prior, during the fight and at the post-fight news conference, it was obvious the two hold a great deal of respect for one another.
“We’ve spent 45 minutes in tha cage together, and we have a bond,” Stout said. That’s a pretty rare thing; three wars with the same opponent. He’s a class act. We spoke after the fight, and if I get out of this press conference while they’re still selling drinks I’m going to by him a beer.”
Dana White thought Fisher, even with retirement on his mind, performed admirably.
“I though Fisher looked better tonight than he has in a long time. It won ‘Fight of the Night’, so I think that says a lot. To be honest, I thought he looked as good as he’s ever looked tonight, so maybe he’ll rethink that (retiring).”
If Fisher does indeed hang up his gloves he’ll do so with a 24-9 overall record and a 9-8 mark in the UFC.
Brian Ebersole outlasts T.J. Waldburger, talks mover to lightweight
Dana White’s comments said it all regarding not only Brian Ebersole’s showing against T.J. Waldburger, but his UFC tenure as a whole.
“I love watching this guy fight,” White said. “He came out of nowhere and he’s always exciting and fun to watch.”
Waldburger dropped Ebersole in the first round and looked to have a deep D’Arce choked applied, but the 66-fight veteran was able to escape danger. He was never in trouble in rounds two and three, and went on to claim a 29-28 unanimous decision victory across the board for his 50th mixed martial arts victory.
“Fighting this long I feel pretty lucky to have my health and the opportunity to keep playing the game I enjoy,” said Ebersole, who has never lost by knockout or TKO. “The submission was either a D’Arce or a Brabo. He had the one carotid but couldn’t get to the other. I had the leverage to change position when I wanted but I was glad I was patient, but not too patient to let him sink it in.”
Since stepping in for Carlos Condit and defeating Chris Lytle via unanimous decision at UFC 127 in a “Fight of the Night” performance, which was also his UFC debut, Ebersole has added three more wins in the Octagon. He is currently riding an 11-fight win streak. Not many fighters would be looking to make changes in the midst of such a run, but Ebersole admitted he’s planning on changing divisions in the near future.
“I’m sick of being a giant killer,” Ebersole said. “I’ve fought at heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight. At one point in 2008-2009 I used to wake up at 171 pounds. So if I can stick with the vegan/vegetarian diet in the next three or four months my metabolism is really going to shrink me down. I should be waking up in the 170s, so if that starts to happen I’m going to make a very concerted effort to become a lightweight.”
Ebersole’s record now stands at 50-14-1 (1 no contest) with a perfect 4-0 mark in the UFC. Waldburger fell to 15-7 with a 3-2 UFC record.