It is customary for winners of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ to be awarded a six figure contract with the UFC and the security of knowing they are now in with the most successful organization in MMA. This is the feeling that veterans Joe Stevenson (29-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) and Mac Danzig (18-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) both have had the opportunity to experience. Both have been in the game a long time and dedicated their lives to get to the top.
Now both fighters find themselves in a rather uncomfortable situation of being on two fight losing streaks with their security in the UFC possibly in jeopardy. Sources close to the fighters’ camps have informed PRO MMA (promma.info) that there is a strong likelihood Stevenson and Danzig will meet in the Octagon later in the year, possibly this summer.
At one point in his UFC career Joe Stevenson was on a four fight win streak and preparing to fight his good friend B.J. Penn (13-5-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) for the interim lightweight championship. He ended up losing that fight to Penn and has now lost three of his last four fights with two of them coming by rear naked choke.
It’s not like Stevenson has been fighting chumps, he has been in the cage with the best such as UFC lightweight champion B..J. Penn, new lightweight Diego Sanchez (20-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), and again lightweight number one contender Kenny Florian (11-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC).
Danzig has also been in some tough fights of his own with brawls against veterans Clay Guida (25-9 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and Josh Neer (25-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC), both fights where he seemed to be in control at some point.
Danzig has been around since 2001 and has been as dedicated as it comes when it comes to fighting, in 2005 Danzig fought seven times and won all seven fights by submission or TKO. These seven fights in 2005 were part of his ten fight win streak that lasted from 2004 through 2006.
Both fighters have been noted as the next big thing at some points in their careers, both fighters have great wrestling and submissions that are feared by many in the lightweight division. Without a doubt both fighters are a threat to anyone that they step into the cage with at the 155lb weight class and are capable of putting on a show.
With the pressure on Stevenson and Danzig, the only question left is which one is going to step up and solidify their place in the UFC and which one will find themselves in the awkward position of losing three fights in a row within the organization. This is being called a “loser leave town” match because quite often in the UFC it is three strikes and you are out.