On Monday we gave BJ Penn some space on CagePotato. Now it’s time to do the same for Joe “Daddy” Stevenson. Props to MMA on Tap for the bit they did on the fighter today. The posting mentions how Joe Daddy was already a professional fighter by the age of 16. At that age, I was just concentrated on how to lay the seats back in my parents’ station wagon so I could bang my girlfriend. Joe Daddy is poised to fight BJ Penn in England on Saturday for the UFC lightweight crown at UFC 80: Rapid Fire.
The reason the two fighters will be going head-to-head for the title is because Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk got stripped of the title when he was busted for juicing last year. The Muscle Shark will have to try and win his belt back against the winner of Saturday’s fight. Both Penn and Stevenson agree that Sherk should fight the winner of their fight, per their words at the press conference.
More from Stevenson:
“The fight being for a title, it definitely has a lot of meaning behind it,” Stevenson said during a recent interview session. “It’s something that I’ve aspired to have ever since I started watching and following this sport.”
And when the term ‘underdog’ is thrown out in reference to Joe Daddy?
“I don’t really understand why people think I’m an underdog in this fight,” said Stevenson. “I feel that I can win, so does my family and friends, so do those that I train with, so a lot of other people I talk to. Everyone has the right to form their own opinion and I respect that but I’ve worked very hard in preparation for this fight. It’s definitely going to show when I step in there against BJ.”
“B.J. is a great fighter and it’s going to be a big challenge for me,” Stevenson said. “I mean, he’s always fought the top guys and done really well for himself. It’s going to be a war. I have to be ready to go all five rounds and be aware that this fight could go anywhere.”
Stevenson certainly is the underdog in most people’s eyes, even though he has shown he can compete with the best. He’s an all-around solid fighter who has the makings of a champion. But we also know his opponent. BJ Penn has won in three weight classes and wants another championship. Both have similar styles and both are ready for the fight to go the distance.
Joe Stevenson was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 2″ and is looking to be the only TUF-er other than Matt Serra to win in a title fight. He fought as a welterweight on the reality show, but is now definitely at the forefront of the UFC’s lightweight future. He’s a likable guy and someone that the UFC would love to see succeed. Like his “Awwww” performance with his son, his press conference wasn’t about being a showman – although that could change if championship belts start piling up for him – but more about being a regular dude who’s ready to take that next step. BJ Penn has to put up or shut up, right now. A loss for him could seriously tarnish his rep.
A win for Joe Daddy – who has been training since age 11 – would place him among the game’s best lightweights. In any organization. It’s gonna’ be a rumble.