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Joe Stevenson dropping divisions this summer for bout with Javier Vazquez

It appears Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner Joe Stevenson will follow the lead of former lightweights Ken Florian and Tyson Griffin in their decision to drop to 145-pounds, as the UFC announced earlier today that the 28-year old is set to face former WEC featherweight Javier Vazquez on June 26 when the organization returns to the Versus Network for UFC Live 4.

The change in weight-classes may help rekindle the one-time contender’s UFC career or potentially end it for the foreseeable future depending on the outcome of his bout with Vazquez. The 33-13 Stevenson has gone 3-5 since losing to B.J. Penn at UFC 80 including a trio of consecutive losses in his last three outings. However, the Californian holds wins over a number of notable peers including Melvin Guillard, Kurt Pellegrino, and Nate Diaz, and seems better suited for smaller opposition given his 5’7” frame.

Though Vazquez has yet to show his goods in the Octagon yet, fans of WEC are likely familiar with the submission specialist’s skills based on an exciting run in the organization during 2009-2010. He holds an overall record of 15-5 with eleven victories via submission and the impressive note of all five losses coming as the result of a decision (three of which were Split).

No other match-ups have been announced for the event though a clash between heavyweight kickboxers Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry has been rumored for the summer show.


  • Jak says:

    Weight isn’t his problem.

    The sport is just passing him. He might get a few more wins, but they will be sandwiched inbetween losses.

    Surprised Vazquez even made the jump to the UFC. 145 must be a little thin right now.

  • MCM says:

    It’s tough to say the sport has passed him by when he’s only 28, even though he’s been in the game for 12 years. I still think Joe Daddy has potential to be one of the top fighters at 145. 145 is thin and if he can pick up a striking game he could be a real threat to that division. Guess we’ll find out this summer.

  • Rece Rock says:

    It’s good thing either way for these well established or name branded fighters to enter into the newer weight class so that they can draw attention to the division and also help create new stars or even revitalize there careers.

  • Dufresne says:

    Joe has a lot of potential but until he gets consistent I don’t see him making another title run, even at 145. If he had made the jump a year ago he probably could have put himself in the picture, but with guys like KenFlo dropping down and Aldo already sitting on top of the heap I just don’t see Joe Daddy making too much noise in a division rapidly filling with talent.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Stevenson has a stocky build. I have questions about how he’ll handle the cut. Regardless, he was basically chased out of 155, and that can’t help him mentally with the move.

  • I agree with the aforementioned comments that this might not be the total revitalizing shot in the arm joe Daddy needs….however on this particular match, I like it, I like it alot. Two great ground specialists throwin down, Joe has been getting beat by the bigger guys at 155(GSot, Shane Roller) and the upper echelon of the division(penn, florian) but let’s be honest not one person here saw Mac Danzig KO’ing him the way he did….least of all Mac Danzig.

    I like this match and should Joe not get overly cocky in being the bigger man, I see him winning this by either trademark guillotine or decision.

  • Rich S. says:

    While I think the move down is appropriate, and may give him some momentum and drive, the matter at question here is his heart.

    Joe is inconsistent. Sometimes he comes out and leaves it all in the cage, and sometimes (lately, most times) he looks like he was never in it. He shouldn’t worry about the quickest route to a world title. He should make sure that this is still the sport for him, still the life he wants. He needs to find the fire again and prepare himself to either win or die in the octagon.

    I’ve always thought he has the skills to be a top contender. He’s a little short for boxing, and that leads to weak/missed punches, which in turn lead to him getting hurt. But his wrestling and Jiu Jitsu are spot on in my opinion. He just needs to find an intensity and passion that will allow him to use those skills to dominate fights.


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