Veteran MMA fighter Joe Stevenson will be moving down to the UFC’s featherweight division. The move to the smaller weight class seems to be the right thing for the “Ultimate Fighter” season two winner, who has struggled in his recent MMA fights.
Joe Stevenson started his UFC career on a very good note, winning five of his six initial fights. Well respected MMA fighters like Kurt Pellegrino, Yves Edwards and Melvin Guillard all fell victim to Stevenson’s aggressive style.
Stevenson worked his way to a title shot against former lightweight champion BJ Penn, who successfully defended his belt at the UFC 80 MMA fight event. Beaten and bloodied by Penn, Stevenson was never able to get his MMA career back on track. Stevenson has lost five of his eight fights since losing to Penn at the UFC 80 MMA fight event.
A move to the UFC’s featherweight division seems to be Stevenson’s final attempt at saving his MMA career. I can’t say I blame him for the decision, at this point in his MMA career; it is rather obvious he won’t be winning the UFC’s lightweight title anytime soon, especially not with monsters like Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard lurking around.
The featherweight division will be kinder to Joe Stevenson’s MMA career than the lightweight division has. When in shape, Stevenson was a strong lightweight, and his strength coupled with his grappling will definitely pose problems for many in the UFC’s featherweight division.
Stevenson’s first match in the featherweight division will be against veteran MMA fighter Javier Vazquez. The two fighters will meet at the UFC Live 4 MMA fight event planned for June 26. Vazquez has struggled in his recent fights as well, losing three of his last five MMA bouts. For Stevenson, he couldn’t ask for a better opponent for his featherweight debut.
While I’m not yet ready to hand over the featherweight title to Joe Stevenson, I do see him fighting his way towards a title shot. Even if he never secures the featherweight title, Stevenson’s move to the UFC’s featherweight division, might just save his job with the world’s most popular MMA fighting promotion.
Brian Knapp,” Featherweight ‘Daddy’ Meets Vazquez at UFC Live 4 ” sherdog.com