Joe Stevenson fought Diego Sanchez tonight in London, England at UFC 95. Diego looked really good in his striking with knees, low and high kicks, and great boxing. He also showed some good scrambles the few times the fight went to the ground. The difference in the fight was Diego’s diversity of striking compared to Stevenson’s absolute predictability.

Joe Stevenson was in a boxing match. I think he threw one kick the whole fight. He did attempt a couple of take downs but once they were stuffed he went right back to the boxing match. I’ve talked with some fighters who don’t realize they are losing because they are having so much fun. In all fairness, maybe this was the case with Joe. But then, that is where your corner-men come in between rounds, to help you make those adjustments.

It is really aggravating is when you’re watching a guy who is already two rounds down, he’s losing the fight, in the third round he’s fighting the exact same way he has been, and then in the middle of what is supposed to be a brawl he repeatedly throws his hands up to the crowd in a gesture that says, “cheer for us, cheer for this great fight, let me hear your cheers!”

Well, Joe, it’s like this. Maybe if you try doing something other than just repeatedly throwing punches that clearly aren’t doing anything to your opponent the crowd will cheer without you having to tell them. Cheers and applause come spontaneously from an audience when they see something that excites them. No one needs to be told to cheer a fight.

It just seems Joe was more interested in getting some crowd approval than winning. Why are you even thinking about the crowd Joe? It’s the third round, you are definitely losing, why are you worried about the audience? You should be worried about ‘the Nightmare’ who is in front of you coming down to your weight class for the first time and stealing a fight.

For those at home watching on TV it’s even more annoying. Fans watch the UFC because they want to see good fights. When one of the fighters is repeatedly wanting to touch gloves and keeps trying to amp the crowd by making hand gestures to cheer it really takes away from the whole thing. We like our fighters tough and mean, not nice guys wanting to stage a show. And please, Joe Stevenson, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ever tell us when to cheer. We will cheer when you stop worrying about us and start kicking your opponent’s ass.

-Jack Bratcher

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