PRO MMA (promma.info) has learned that Joe “Daddy” Stevenson (29-10) will return to the Octagon on June 20th at The Ultimate Fighter season 9 finale against Nate Diaz (10-3). Stevenson is coming off a loss to Diego Sanchez at UFC 95 who will also be on the finale against Clay Guida.
Since winning TUF 2, Stevenson has gone 5-4 in the UFC, with notable victories over Yves Edwards, Gleison Tibau and Melvin Guillard. However, he has struggled to win fights over the lightweight elite, losing to Sanchez, Kenny Florian and BJ Penn. This fight may be it for Stevenson in the UFC should he lose to Diaz.
Nate Diaz is also a fellow TUF winner, having won the lightweight division in season 5. Diaz most recently lost to Guida at UFC 94 by split decision, giving up his first loss in the UFC and only the third in his career. Diaz has notable wins over Josh Neer and Kurt Pellegrino.
Both Diaz and Stevenson come from a strong grappling background, with Stevenson training with Mark Laimon’s Cobra Kai team and Diaz a Cesar Gracie product.
Against Sanchez, Stevenson decided to try out his new found boxing skills instead of sticking with his strengths and ultimately lost a decision, mainly due to his desire to entertain rather than to try and fight to win.
Diaz was controlled throughout most of his fight with Guida and in the end it cost him the decision.
The TUF 9 finale will pit the finalist of the UK vs. the finalist of the US in the lightweight and welterweight divisions. The finale is scheduled June 20th at the Palms in Las Vegas.
By: Dusty Adams