(If featherweight doesn’t work out, Stevenson will likely test the waters of the Strikeforce women’s 135-pound class)
Well, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson will be spared from the UFC’s chopping block for at least one more fight. The Ultimate Fighter 2 winner who dropped to lightweight in 2006 will face Javier Vasquez at UFC on Versus 4 June 26 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The UFC confirmed today that the rumored bout is a go.
Winless in his past three bouts and just 3-6 in his last nine, most thought that Stevenson would likely be cut by the UFC following his decision loss to Danny Castillo at UFC Live on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann last month, but it looks like besides a six-figure contract and a crystal trophy, winning TUF also gets a fighter one get out of the unemployment line free card.
Vasquez (15-5) is a tough customer, having never been finished in 20 career fights. A black belt under his father-in-law, Rorian Gracie, Vasquez once fought an entire King of the Cage championship bout with a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). 11 of the 34-year-old Cuban-born fighter’s wins have come by submission. The rest went to the judges’ scorecards. Stevenson’s best bet would be to keep the bout standing or to win by ground and pound. Otherwise, the one-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship North American trials winner who dropped his last fight at WEC 52 in November to Chad Mendes via unanimous decision, may give Stevenson a quick UFC send-off.