Joe Stevenson talks UFC 86 win, second title shot
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.
Former UFC Champ Loses Boxing Match
Former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez lost in a split decision Tuesday night as boxing returned to the Las Vegas Hilton.
Rodriguez looks huge. But not in a good way like Kaspars Kambala. Ricco tipped the scales at 270 pounds.
Let’s put it this way, Ricco doesn’t look very suave.
He had Xtreme Couture boxing coach Ron Frazier in his corner and wore a pair of trunks with a Throwdown logo in an odd homage to MMA.
UFC To Counter-Program EliteXC - Will Air UFC 84 For Free
Dana White mentioned recently that he was planning something special on July 26; the same night that CBS/EliteXC airs it's second event. If you guessed that something special was counter-programing then you were correct.
The UFC has just announced that they will be airing back-to-back showings of UFC 84. For those that missed it the first time, it was likely the best MMA event of the first half of this year.
The card was stacked with great fights that lived up to the billing. Even the under card was fantastic.
Below is a look at the card:
- B.J. Penn vs. Sean Sherk
- Keith Jardine vs. Wanderlei Silva
- Wilson Gouveia vs. Goran Reljic
- Lyoto Machida vs. Tito Ortiz
- Thiago Silva vs. Antonio Mendes
Lyoto Machida: "They Prefer Chuck With The Belt"
After watching UFC 86 this past weekend, Light Heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida had some opinions of his own. “Quinton defeated Forrest, but they give it to Forrest.” Machida told Brazilian magazine Tatame. He went on to say that he believes the UFC prefers to have Chuck Liddell as the Light Heavyweight champion because of his marketability.
Spot on Lyoto, spot on
Breaking the Rules
There are certain traditions that are expected to be followed during a telecast of any mixed martial arts contest: ring girls putting their surgeon's work on display, labored prefight insults and -- most crucial of all -- commentators audibly musing about how they don't quite understand the rules.
Compustrike Stats For UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin
nside the Numbers: Griffin was clearly the busier fighter overall, throwing 268 more total strikes than Jackson. Jackson was more efficient (and landed the harder shots), landing 49% of his total strikes to 33% for Griffin. Jackson had a 67-48 edge in arm strikes landed, 64 of which were power strikes to 47 for Griffin.
Chris Lytle is weighing his options after loss
It was a gruesome sight to see. UFC welterweight Chris Lytle on the mat, trapped against the chain link fence, a pool of blood expanding from beneath his head.
No cut in recent memory bled like the one Lytle sustained against Josh Koscheck at UFC 86. It was a sight sponsors cringe at, and for Lytle, the worst-case scenario – another night trapped under a world-class wrestler.
Exclusive Interview: Tom Atencio -- Affliction VP, Talks about UFC's July 19th card, Dana and more.
Hey, Tom. Thanks for taking the time to talk. Dana White has counter programmed on July 19th, offering a free Spike show that will feature Anderson Silva. What are your thoughts on that?
I think it's flattering. I mean, come on, that means we're obviously a threat to him. It means we're obviously in competition with him because he wouldn't be doing it if we weren't. So my guess from the polls and from what everybody's saying, they're gonna buy my pay per view or come to the fight and they're gonna Tivo or tape this fight because it's free.
That's what I'm doing.
Yeah, exactly. That's all I had to do is ask you. Just think about it. It just gives the people who were not going to buy my pay per view something to do now.
There does seem to be a lot of brand loyalty with some UFC fans, so they're glad they're getting something to watch that night other than your event.
Exactly. I think the guys that weren't going to buy my pay per view, they're still not going to buy it, so that's okay. Like I said, obviously we're some kind of a threat, because if we weren't he wouldn't even be thinking twice about us.
I noticed a little bit of guerrilla marketing on the Affliction side as well. You guys have taken old quotes from Dana about your fighters and are using them on advertisements. Whose idea was that?
(Laughs) We have a great team here and we're doing everything we can to make sure that everybody knows about our show.
Rematch in Memphis?
Page in Memphis
The fact is that the UFC, led by Vice President Mark Ratner, and the FedExForum in Memphis lobbied diligently this year to set-up a commission to regulate mixed martial arts in Tennessee.
Success at last! And, as I write this, the State of Tennessee is scrambling to staff and organize their new commission.
(Tennessee readers should contact their State representatives immediately to be considered for the commission.)
FedExForum’s reward is the return of Memphis native son “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (29-7), who testified before the Tennessee legislature on behalf of MMA regulation.
FedExForum’s collaboration with the UFC was all but predicated on an eventual Rampage main event in Memphis.
Unless ‘Page wants to tune-up in the Octagon before November, it’s a lock that his golden grin will be donning billboards across Memphis before his next tussle, likely at UFC 90.
James Irvin: Silva Should Have Moved Down To Welterweight
UFC light heavyweight standout James Irvin (14-4) will face middleweight champion Anderson Silva who will make the trek from 185 lbs. to 205 lbs. in order to find a challenge. After cleaning out the middleweight division Silva is in dire need of big fights, Irvin, however, thinks that Silva is taking on more than he can handle.
Tim Sylvia on a quest to fight the best
Over the past four years, few heavyweight fighters can stake a claim to fighting more top-10 opponents than Tim Sylvia.
The 32-year-old "Maine-iac" has fought most of the sport's best heavyweights, and in two weeks, he'll add an opponent that many consider the division's top fighter.
Sylvia, a longtime former UFC heavyweight champion, was recently granted his release from the organization. However, he's preparing for a challenging future outside the UFC, where the majority of the top 10 heavyweight fighters in the world now compete.