Stevenson vs. Diaz: Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale

By Jake Rossen Jun 20, 2009
Keep refreshing this page for the latest from tonight's "Ultimate Fighter: Team US vs. Team UK" finale. It's xenophobia brought to you by "Rob Zombie's Halloween II."

Up Next: Joe Stevenson vs. Nate Diaz
Until Sean Sherk fights Corey Hill, this is likely to be the biggest size disparity you’ll see in the lightweight division: the 5’7” Stevenson takes on the 6’0” Diaz. I’ll spare you the “tall order” hackwork, but Stevenson is just 1-3 since January of 2008, and if he can’t get past the bear trap that is Diaz’ guard, his tenure in the UFC could be ending. Shortly.

Round 1
Buffer approaches each fighter menacingly during introductions. Stevenson employs the curious strategy of sending Diaz where he's most comfortable: fighting off his back. But he does well early on, snagging Diaz in a kind of reverse crucifix control that looks like a page torn from the Kama Sutra. Stevenson had complete control of the round. Nate lifts his hands. If the judges are that easily swayed, there's no hope for anyone.

Round 2
Diaz performs the patented bee-swat striking technique; Stevenson prefers his chances on the ground -- no wonder, with Diaz' 6-7" reach -- and ties him up. This goes on for five minutes. Diaz doesn't have a solution for Stevenson's strong-arming.

Round 3
After a scramble, Diaz scores his first takedown of the night. Unless two of the judges are Nick and Cesar Gracie, it's not going to be enough. This is the Stevenson people were expecting when he debuted. Maybe this Greg Jackson character knows a thing or two after all.

Decision:
Stevenson 29-28 across the board. A stay of execution.
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