Joe Stevenson talks UFC 86 win, second title shot

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Twenty20Dollars
7/9/08 11:56:40AM
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New light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin wasn't the only "Ultimate Fighter" alumnus looking to improve his stock at this past Saturday's UFC 86 event. Season two winner Joe "Daddy" Stevenson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who had previously lost a lightweight title bout to B.J. Penn, defeated Gleison Tibau (15-6 MMA, 3-3 UFC) to get back on the winning track.

"Joe Daddy" was a recent guest on TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), where he discussed his big submission win over the ATT standout.

"I really didn't want to finish this fight with a guillotine," Stevenson said. "I wanted to drop him. It just didn't work out for me this time."

However, Stevenson nearly found himself on the wrong side of a submission attempt, spending much of the first round fighting off an omoplata. Midway through the second round, however, a frustrated Stevenson came back to lock in a deep guillotine choke during a Tibau takedown attempt.

"I think he was really caught off guard," said Stevenson, who's the first fighter ever to submit Tibau. "I don't think he expected my guillotine to be as good as it was."

The Victorville, Calif. native hadn't fought since his January title loss to BJ Penn, and Stevenson said he needed to shake off some ring rust before he could figure out his opponent.

"I guess it was good to get some of the cobwebs off," Stevenson said. "I figured out [Tibau] is incredibly strong. (However), he doesn't want to peter out so he uses it in bursts. If you can catch him when he is trying to rest, that is when you are going to do your big damage."

Looking back now, the 26-year-old feels he should have capitalized more on Tibau's rhythm so he could secure a stoppage earlier in the fight.

"I made the mistake of not just following up when I knocked him down with my right hand," Stevenson said. "(Also), when I took him down, I should have just exploded with forearms on him. I was thinking, 'I've got to be careful. This guy is super strong and (has) a black belt.' Honestly, I think I didn't fight him to my best ability."

So, regardless of the fact that he walked away a victor, the always-modest Stevenson still believes his outing was sub-par.

"I was pretty upset with my performance; I thought I could have done 10 times better," said Stevenson, who's now 6-2 since winning "The Ultimate Fighter" season two. "I am really critical of myself."

One factor that may have hampered Stevenson's performance was an assortment of injuries he sustained prior to the fight.

"I came into that fight not even 100 percent. ... I was really hurt," Stevenson said. "I had a bruised femur and a hurt elbow."

However, the 10-year-veteran joked that he may never fight at full capacity since injuries are a common part of the fight game.

"Honestly, with the right camp, I'm sure you can come in 100 percent," Stevenson joked. "I just haven't done it yet."

Now that he is back in the win column, Stevenson plans to commemorate the official grand opening of his new gym, Joe Stevenson's Cobra Kai, as well as allow his injuries to heal. Stevenson is also looking forward to getting another shot at the UFC lightweight title, a chance that may come sooner rather than later if he continues to win.

"Joe (Silva) was telling me two or three wins," he said.

For the entire interview with Stevenson, download Monday's edition of TAGG Radio, available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.
Twenty20Dollars
7/9/08 11:59:55AM
Joe Stevenson vs Tyson Griffin. gets the next shot after huerta/florian.
Wolfenstein
7/9/08 12:20:54PM
I just don't see how Joe could beat BJ, outside of his guilotein choke (which is in my opinion the est in MMA). He just better pray that the winner of Huerta vs Florian can take BJ out because he'd be a favorite to beat Huerta or Florian in my opinion.

Here's the problematic scenario as I see it. I don't think Huerta can beat Florian. But I don't think Florian has a chance in hell at beating BJ. On the other hand I could see Huerta having a slim chance at beating BJ with his reach and standup skills. Thing is Huerta can't beat Florian to get there. Whooo that was complicated.

I think Joe will maul Tyson. Probably will end with Joe slapping on his trademark guilotein when Tyson presses him up against the fence. I don't think Joe wants to end it that way again. He'd probably like to show some of his other techniques, but in the heat of the moment it's tough to get away from your bread and butter.
Twenty20Dollars
7/9/08 12:38:35PM
yeah joe's kinda in the same place as rich franklin with anderson silva in the MW division.

joe and rich are like the #2 guys but can't beat the current champs, bj and silva.
finnish_line
7/9/08 1:18:20PM


Have Joe face the loser of Huerta/Florian.

Griffin has already faced enough crazy high level competition. Give him a midcard lightweight, and then a title shot.
Matimus
7/9/08 2:31:08PM
I agree
wolfman
7/9/08 3:23:01PM
I personally think Tyson will maul Stevenson.
Wolfenstein
7/9/08 3:35:28PM
Why would you get a title shot for taking on guys that are lower level competition? I'll admit he's been up against some tough guys, but it's not like he needs a tune up fight. He's won his last four straight.

I think the matchup with Joe is perfect because they're both on the brink of being the next in line. If not Joe then maybe a rising star like Nate Diaz or Gray Maynard (he has the tools to be a champ).
finnish_line
7/9/08 3:46:51PM

Posted by luke420187

Why would you get a title shot for taking on guys that are lower level competition? I'll admit he's been up against some tough guys, but it's not like he needs a tune up fight. He's won his last four straight.

I think the matchup with Joe is perfect because they're both on the brink of being the next in line. If not Joe then maybe a rising star like Nate Diaz or Gray Maynard (he has the tools to be a champ).




Joe had his shot and lost bad. He shouldn't be "on the brink of being the next in line."

Griffin has proven himself over and over again. But the timeline for a title shot is months and months away. Give him a filler fight in the meantime.

Stevenson's last fight before facing BJ was against Kurt Pellegrino, after all.
whardin19
7/9/08 4:54:27PM
Although I would personally like to see Sean Sherk vs. Joe Stevenson. My bet is he gets the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Hermes Franca.

As for the whole Tyson Griffin title shot thing. I agree he does deserve a title shot. But, that's already going to the winner of Florian vs. Huerta. So, he's got a long wait. The question then is who do you give Griffin now? He is probably going to have to have two more fights until he gets his title shot.
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