Following every UFC and Invicta FC event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC Fight Night 44, which took place on June 28 from the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Cub Swanson vs. Jose Aldo-Chad Mendes winner

At long last, a title shot awaits Cub Swanson.

You could have made a very good argument for Swanson after wins three, four and five of his now six-fight winning streak. He knocked out Charles Oliveira. He unanimously beat highly touted Dustin Poirier. He scored a TKO over Dennis Siver in fine fashion. However, none of these victories gave him an opportunity to fight for the belt in a stacked featherweight division. After another impressive win, this time over Jeremy Stephens on Saturday, there should be no stopping Swanson now.

Once Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes, two opponents Swanson has faced and lost to, fight for the title on Aug. 2, Swanson will be ready to get revenge on the winner. But this time more will be on the line, as the UFC gold will be sitting cageside for his taking.

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Gunnar Nelson-Zak Cummings winner

Chalk up another win for 22-year-old Kelvin Gastelum. The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner continues to string together victories, adding his fourth in the UFC to his unblemished record, which now stands at 9-0. Gastelum stepped into a brighter spotlight than normal as one half of the co-main event and defeated Nico Musoke by unanimous decision.

Unfortunately for Gastelum, his win was diminished a bit, as he was forced to hand over 20 percent of his purse to Musoke for missing weight. This is one area the young fighter will have to improve on moving forward. Until he does get his weight-cutting formula straight, he shouldn’t move too far up the rankings.

Gastelum is a talented fighter, but his rise should be halted for now. He has yet to defeat anyone in the top 15, and his best win, which came against Rick Story, can be argued as a bout that went in Story’s favor. Therefore, Gastelum’s next fight should come against the winner of the upcoming bout between Gunnar Nelson and Zak Cummings.

Nelson and Cummings will square off on July 19 in Dublin, Ireland, in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 46. Nelson, the 13th-ranked fighter at 170 pounds, would make for an intriguing fight against Gastelum. But even if Cummings, the heavy underdog, could upset Nelson, he would have earned the right to step up and battle Gastelum.

Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira vs. Clint Hester

Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and Clint Hester, a pair of middleweights who have appeared on The Ultimate Fighter, added wins on the main card, although both men delivered in bouts that were quite uneventful.

The Brazilian, Ferreira, survived a late flurry from Andrew Craig to top the American by unanimous decision, giving Mutante a much-needed victory to rebound from being knocked out by C.B. Dollaway.

Meanwhile, Hester continued his hot streak in controversial fashion by getting a gift via split decision over Antonio Braga Neto. Regardless of how he got the victory, Hester is now on a seven-fight winning streak, with four of those wins coming inside the Octagon.

Both guys still have a lot to prove, though. Ferreira certainly didn’t please the crowd in San Antonio with his slow-paced style. In the UFC, you not only have to win, but also impress the boss, UFC President Dana White. Hester, on the other hand, has to improve his ground game if he wants to become a true contender one day. On the mat, “Headbussa” was owned by Braga Neto. Hester clearly has just his boxing game to lead him.

The promotion should let Mutante and Hester battle to determine who really has what it takes to make an impact on the division.

Ricardo Lamas vs. Charles Oliveira

Ricardo Lamas returned to the cage on Saturday for the first time since losing to champion Jose Aldo. “The Bully” got back on track in search of another run up the rankings by defeating Hacran Dias via unanimous decision.

Obviously, Lamas wants to get another crack at Aldo as soon as possible, but while he’s been away, the division has become even more stacked. Charles Oliveira is one fighter who continues to improve at a young age, and he should be given a chance to face Lamas next.

Oliveira has faced the biggest names in the division already, and he’s also competed against top lightweights Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone. The Brazilian has proved he can hang with someone like Frankie Edgar for three rounds and he became the first to finish Hatsu Hioki, so there should be no argument against giving him Lamas next.

Sure, Lamas vs. Oliveira may not make sense in terms of rankings, but it makes for a fun fight and offers the possibility of a high reward for both men. A win for Lamas puts him right back in contention for a title shot, and Oliveira will continue drawing big names until his time comes to upset a former title contender.

Joe Ellenberger vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira

Joe Ellenberger and Carlos Diego Ferreira, two debuting lightweights, claimed wins on Saturday.

Ferreira wrapped up the preliminary portion of the card in impressive fashion. The Brazilian newcomer scored his first UFC win by using a rear-naked choke to force Colton Smith to tap in 38 seconds. Not bad for a debut, huh?

Following that fight, Ellenberger made his debut with the UFC. His long-awaited first UFC fights came after many trials and tribulations. Not only had Ellenberger been fighting a rare disease, but his opponent got changed over and over again. Finally, James Moontasri stuck as the man to stand opposite of Ellenberger inside the Octagon. Ellenberger ended up beating Moontasri by split decision.

It’s a logical move for the UFC to pit Ferreira against Ellenberger next. Both men are coming off their first win with the company, and the timing is perfect.

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.