MMAMadness first learned of the bout:
Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20th, will pit season 2 welterweight champion Joe Stevenson against Season 5 lightweight champion Nate Diaz. Contracts have not yet been signed. However, a source close to the event has confirmed the bout. Joe Stevenson has lost his last two fights. Diego Sanchez won a unanimous decision against Stevenson at UFC 95. Stevenson claims to have gone into the fight reluctantly….Stevenson desperately needs to win this to remain a contender in the lightweight division…Nate Diaz is also entering the contest after losing his last fight. Diaz lost a split decision against Clay Guida. Diaz insists that the judges got it wrong.
Being the huge fan that I am of the Diaz brothers, I really believe this is a perfect fight for Nate. Nate is better at every aspect of the MMA game with the exception of wrestling. Joe showed against Diego he has a very limited striking skillset, being a straight boxer, which makes little sense given his stature and lack of reach. If Nate decides to bang it out, I believe he will earn his first TKO victory of his UFC career.
The Guida fight left a sour taste in just about everyone’s mouth. Nate just didn’t seem like himself that night. Was it just me or did he make a huge mistake by clinching with Guida when he had him wobbled against the fence in the third? I could have sworn a couple more clean shots, and Guida would have been finished.
Stevenson is the kind of guy the UFC loves to have on board. He will fight all the time against the best, he is a family man, a very warm personality and an all-around likable guy. The only problem is, he used to add winning to all those attributes. Not since his fight with Pellegrino has he shown any sort of legitimate top ten talent. His guillotine on Tibau was impressive, but he was absolutely getting his ass whooped up until that point. BJ Penn, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, arguably the top three guys in the UFC lightweight division all easily handled him. Diaz won’t be any different. If Joe takes Nate down and ends up in his guard, I don’t see him passing or delivering any ground-and-pound, so Nate will get back to his feet or put Joe to sleep, I would prefer the latter.
This card is shaping up to be a great one for Spike, ironically the fighters Joe and Nate’s most recent losses were to, are set to do battle as well. Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida will fight for contendership and possibly a future title shot. Combined that with Nate vs. Joe and the two TUF Finalists fights, it should be an awesome night of fights.
The event is set for June 20 at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.