Joe Stevenson's Blogs

  • Saturday MMA: A TV Viewer’s Guide By: Jeff Sherwood





    Saturday



    4:00 a.m. ET Fox Sports 2: UFC Tonight
    UFC highlights, analysis and interviews.

    5:00 a.m. ET Fox Sports 2: UFC Unleashed
    Featuring Anderson Silva vs. Yushi Okami; Mauricio Rua vs. Forrest Griffin; Travis Browne vs, Stefan Struve; Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera.

    6:00 a.m. ET Fox Sports 2: UFC Unleashed
    Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz

    7:00 a.m. ET Fox Sports 2: UFC Tonight
    UFC highlights, analysis and interviews.

    8:00 a.m. ET Fox Sports 2: UFC Fight Night
    Prelims: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo; Cody McKenzie vs. Sam Stout; Zach Makovsky vs. Scott Jorgensen; Pat Healy vs. Bobby Green; Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo; Ryan LaFlare vs. Court McGee. From Sacramento, Calif. (Subject to change)

    5:00 p.m. ET Sportsnet 360: UFC Preliminary Fights
    UFC on Sportsnet Prelims Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo; Cody McKenzie vs. Sam Stout; Zach Makovsky vs. Scott Jorgensen; Pat Healy vs. Bobby Green; Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo; Ryan LaFlare vs. Court McGee. From Sacramento, Calif. (Subject to change)

    9:00 p.m. ET Fox Sports 2: UFC Reloaded
    UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II Anderson Silva defends his UFC Middleweight Championship against Chael Sonnen.

    9:00 p.m. ET SpikeTV: GLORY 13: Tokyo
    Peter Aerts vs. Rico Verhoeven; Daniel Ghita vs. Errol Zimmerman; Dustin Jacoby vs. Makoto Uehara; Joseph Valtellini vs. Raymond Daniels; Nieky Holzken vs. Karapet Karapetyan. From Tokyo.

    12:00 a.m. ET Fox Sports 2: UFC Unleashed
    Lyoto Machida vs. Quinton Jackson; Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzig; Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida.

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  • Tuesday MMA: A TV Viewer’s Guide By: Jeff Sherwood



    Tuesday



    3:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    EPISODE: 1 Welterweights Anthony Johnson and Yoshiyuki Yoshida; lightweights Joe Stevenson and Spencer Fisher; rematch between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin.

    4:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    EPISODE: 2 Jon Jones vs. Jake O'Brien; Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher.

    5:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    Featuring Anthony Johnson vs. Josh Koscheck; Amir Sadollah vs. Phil Baroni; Ben Saunders vs. Marcus Davis.

    2:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Reloaded
    UFC 147: Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin II Highlights of UFC 147 in Brazil.

    5:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    FOX 7 Fight Flashback Ultimate Fighter upset winner Kelvin Gastelum in studio.

    5:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: Best of PRIDE Fighting Championship
    Fighters that successfully transition from UFC to Pride.

    6:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 5 Episode 3: This is My Zone B.J. and his coaches are unhappy with Team B.J. Penn's effort; Gabe Ruediger goes to extreme measures to cut weight.

    7:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    EPISODE: 1 Welterweights Anthony Johnson and Yoshiyuki Yoshida; lightweights Joe Stevenson and Spencer Fisher; rematch between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin.

    8:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Bad Blood
    Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz Bitter enemies Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz do battle in an outside of the Octagon.

    10:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    Fighter's Cut - Tito Ortiz relives two of his most famous fights.

    10:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    EPISODE: 133

    11:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Fight Night
    Welterweights Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida face off in UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C.

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  • Thursday MMA: A TV Viewer’s Guide By: Jeff Sherwood



    Thursday



    6:00 a.m. ET Sportsnet West: UFC Central Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    6:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider Hendricks on the Brink Johny Henricks all-access account of his UFC 158; Alexander Gustafsson provides a tour of his home; Cain Velasquez's Harley Davidson photo shoot.

    6:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Best Of Sonnen Chael Sonnen all-access account of his UFC on FOX; the greatest trash talker of them all; Sonnen mic'd up for his real time reaction to the legendary fight between Mauricio Rua and Dan Henderson.

    7:00 a.m. ET Sportsnet Pacific: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    7:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Matt Brown's journey; the Signature Moves of Travis Browne; Miesha Tate mic'd up for the historic Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche; Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar off the cuff about fight films.

    7:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    EPISODE: 126

    8:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Fight Night
    UFC 124: Relive all the action from UFC: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis in Seattle.

    4:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    UFC: Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez - Preview of all the action ahead in FOX UFC Saturday Henderson vs. Melendez at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

    4:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    EPISODE: 126

    5:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Reloaded
    UFC 144: Relive the action from UFC 144 Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo.

    8:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    UFC: Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez - Preview of all the action ahead in FOX UFC Saturday Henderson vs. Melendez at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

    8:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    EPISODE: 126

    9:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: Best of PRIDE Fighting Championship
    Shogun Grand Prix Mauricio Rua's epic run in the PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix tournament.

    9:00 p.m. ET The Score: The Score Fighting Series
    The Score Fighting Series (SFS) features fighters from North America and beyond with a focus on exciting match-ups and developing the next generation of great fighters. Tune in for non-stop action from events across the country.

    10:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    EPISODE: 1 Welterweights Anthony Johnson and Yoshiyuki Yoshida; lightweights Joe Stevenson and Spencer Fisher; rematch between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin.

    11:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC's Road to the Octagon
    A look at the most anticipated fights in the upcoming UFC event on Saturday, April 20th.

    12:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 5 Episode 1: It's Like Anarchy Here

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  • Tuesday MMA: A TV Viewer’s Guide By: Jeff Sherwood



    Tuesday



    3:00 a.m. ET Sportsnet Pacific: UFC Countdown
    Lead up to UFC 157: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche from Honda Center in Anaheim.

    6:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    Lyoto Machida vs. Quinton Jackson; Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzig; Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida.

    7:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    The best fights from the UFC archives, featuring Lyoto Machida vs Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort vs Yoshihiro Akiyama, Nam Phan vs Leonard Garcia, and Donald Cerrone vs Dennis Siver.

    8:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle; Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim; Brendan Schaub vs Mirko Cro Cop; Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz.

    9:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    The best fights from the UFC archives, featuring Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida, Nate Diaz vs Donald Cerrone, Bart Palaszewski vs Tyson Griffin, and Ryan Bader vs Jason Brilz.

    10:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC From All Angles
    Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.

    10:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Bad Blood
    Bitter enemies Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz do battle in an outside of the Octagon.

    12:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: Forrest Griffin: The Ultimate Fighter
    A former Georgia police officer who became a UFC icon, and found fame as a professional athlete when he was just looking for a fight.

    1:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC: In the Moment
    The Rise of Jon Jones, An all-access look at the rise of Jon Jones, as he trains, fights, travels, and works.

    3:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Reloaded
    UFC 92: Forrest Griffin defends his Light Heavyweight title against Rashad Evans; Minotauro Nogueira fights Frank Mir for the Interim Heavyweight belt.

    6:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Reloaded
    UFC 135: Jon Jones vs Quinton Jackson and Matt Hughes vs Josh Koscheck.

    9:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    Featuring Mauricio Rua vs. Jon Jones; Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort; Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly.

    9:00 p.m. ET FX: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 17 Episode 5: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen: The Reflection of Perfection Mickey Rourke visits Team Sonnen to share insights from his days as a boxer; coach Jones wonders if a competitor is ready to fight; two fighters meet for the fourth preliminary fight.

    10:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    preview of the action for UFC 157: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche before their battle in Las Vegas.

    10:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Primetime
    Inside the day-to-day lives of first-ever UFC female champion Ronda Rousey, and her challenger Liz Carmouche.

    11:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Countdown157
    Lead up to UFC 157: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche from Honda Center in Anaheim.

    11:00 p.m. ET Sportsnet West: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen
    Season 17 Episode 5: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen: The Reflection of Perfection Mickey Rourke visits Team Sonnen to share insights from his days as a boxer; coach Jones wonders if a competitor is ready to fight; two fighters meet for the fourth preliminary fight.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet Pacific: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet Ontario: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet East: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    11:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC From All Angles
    Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.

    12:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Reloaded
    UFC 140: Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones faces former champ Lyoto Machida; the Nogueira brothers, Frank Mir and Tito Ortiz.

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  • Wednesday MMA: A TV Viewer’s Guide By: Jeff Sherwood



    Wednesday



    5:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC From All Angles
    Middleweight Michael Bisping.

    6:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 17 Episode 1: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen - Enter the Octagon Twenty-eight middleweights arrive in Las Vegas for a shot at a UFC contract; coaches Chael Sonnen and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones evaluate the winners of 14 elimination fights.

    8:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 17 Episode 2: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen: Ambush Fourteen middleweights move into the house and training begins; a fighter gets emotional after his team shows serious doubts about his readiness; two fighters face off in the first preliminary fight.

    10:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Vitor Belfort gained a 2nd one in the Blackzilians; Urijah Faber celebrates Christmas; Joe Rogan riffs on the upcoming season; Anthony Pettis watches Octagonside.

    10:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Behind the scenes at Alistair Overeem's photo shoot; 24 year old Erik Koch; Rashad Evans defines the warrior code; Anthony Pettis shows off his signatures moves.

    11:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Michael McDonald celebrates his birthday; Sacramento's Team Alpha Male; Dan Henderson recounts his career; UFC's finest describe the feeling of a knockout

    11:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Best of Jon Jones, Jon Jones & Rashad Evans face-off looking ahead to UFC 145; All access with Jones and Evans.

    2:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    UFC News for the week of February 5.

    2:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Best of Jon Jones, Jon Jones & Rashad Evans face-off looking ahead to UFC 145; All access with Jones and Evans.

    3:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC 156: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar - Prelims
    From Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

    5:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: Best of PRIDE Fighting Championship
    The Brazilian Top Team The best of the greatest submission team in Pride.

    6:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 17 Episode 2: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen: Ambush Fourteen middleweights move into the house and training begins; a fighter gets emotional after his team shows serious doubts about his readiness; two fighters face off in the first preliminary fight.

    6:00 p.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage: Classics Vol. 11
    A historic collection of matchups.

    7:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    UFC News for the week of February 5.

    7:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Best of Jon Jones, Jon Jones & Rashad Evans face-off looking ahead to UFC 145; All access with Jones and Evans.

    7:00 p.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage


    8:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Best of 2012: The Year in Review
    Relive the thrilling action of the best bouts, the greatest knockouts and submissions.

    8:00 p.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage: Classics Vol. 11
    A historic collection of matchups.

    9:00 p.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage: Greatest KO's 10
    The best collection of knock outs ever caught on camera and featuring some of today's biggest stars in MMA.

    10:00 p.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage


    11:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: World MMA Awards
    In the fifth annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards, the silver statuette is bestowed on some the planet's best fighters.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet Pacific: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet Ontario: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet East: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    12:00 a.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage: Greatest KO's 10
    The best collection of knock outs ever caught on camera and featuring some of today's biggest stars in MMA.

    12:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    Lyoto Machida vs. Quinton Jackson; Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzig; Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida.

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  • Thursday MMA: A TV Viewer’s Guide By: Jeff Sherwood



    Thursday



    3:00 a.m. ET Sportsnet Pacific: UFC Countdown
    UFC 156 Countdown Leading up to UFC 156: Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar with in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

    3:00 a.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage: Classics Vol. 10
    A historic collection of matchups.

    3:30 a.m. ET Sportsnet West: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    4:00 a.m. ET Sportsnet West: UFC Countdown
    UFC 156 Countdown Leading up to UFC 156: Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar with in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

    4:00 a.m. ET MavTV: King of the Cage: Greatest KO's 9
    The best collection of knock outs ever caught on camera and featuring some of today's biggest stars in MMA.

    4:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 17 Episode 1: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen - Enter the Octagon Twenty-eight middleweights arrive in Las Vegas for a shot at a UFC contract; coaches Chael Sonnen and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones evaluate the winners of 14 elimination fights.

    6:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Roundtable
    Welterweights II Jay Glazer sits down and gets personal with the UFC's top welterweight fighters.

    6:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Vitor Belfort gained a 2nd one in the Blackzilians; Urijah Faber celebrates Christmas; Joe Rogan riffs on the upcoming season; Anthony Pettis watches Octagonside.

    7:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Behind the scenes at Alistair Overeem's photo shoot; 24 year old Erik Koch; Rashad Evans defines the warrior code; Anthony Pettis shows off his signatures moves.

    7:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Michael McDonald celebrates his birthday; Sacramento's Team Alpha Male; Dan Henderson recounts his career; UFC's finest describe the feeling of a knockout

    8:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC 143: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit Prelims
    The next generation of UFC stars in a night of unforgettable action.

    4:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    Preview of all the official news, views, and action for UFC 156: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar.

    4:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Michael McDonald celebrates his birthday; Sacramento's Team Alpha Male; Dan Henderson recounts his career; UFC's finest describe the feeling of a knockout

    5:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Reloaded
    UFC 145: Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans

    8:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    Preview of all the official news, views, and action for UFC 156: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar.

    8:30 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Michael McDonald celebrates his birthday; Sacramento's Team Alpha Male; Dan Henderson recounts his career; UFC's finest describe the feeling of a knockout

    9:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: Best of PRIDE Fighting Championship
    The Brazilian Top Team The best of the greatest submission team in Pride.

    10:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Unleashed
    Lyoto Machida vs. Quinton Jackson; Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzig; Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida.

    10:00 p.m. ET SpikeTV: Bellator MMA Live
    EPISODE: 3 Lightweight Tournament quarterfinals: Guillaume DeLorenzi vs. Patricky Freire; Lloyd Woodard vs. Dave Rickels; Thiago Michel vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy; Will Brooks vs. Ricardo Tirloni. From Mount Pleasant, Mich.

    11:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: The Ultimate Fighter
    Season 17 Episode 2: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen: Ambush Fourteen middleweights move into the house and training begins; a fighter gets emotional after his team shows serious doubts about his readiness; two fighters face off in the first preliminary fight.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet Ontario: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    11:30 p.m. ET Sportsnet East: UFC Central
    Hosted by "Showdown" Joe Ferraro. UFC highlights and news.

    12:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Countdown
    Leading up to UFC 156: Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar with in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

    12:00 a.m. ET SpikeTV: Bellator MMA Live
    EPISODE: 3 Lightweight Tournament quarterfinals: Guillaume DeLorenzi vs. Patricky Freire; Lloyd Woodard vs. David Rickels; Thiago Michel vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy; Will Brooks vs. Ricardo Tirloni. From Mount Pleasant, Mich.

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  • Opinion: Danger in the Cut By: Jason Probst



    Joe Stevenson (file photo) did not look strong at 145 pounds. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson



    With the mass exodus to drop down a weight class in MMA, in general, and among lightweights, in particular, Tyson Griffin and Joe Stevenson both clearly showed the effects of it at UFC Live 4 on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

    That is a troubling trend, because anyone familiar with the stress of cutting weight knows the considerable health risks it brings. Yet in today’s ultra-competitive MMA climate, the inevitability of having to take those risks to stay relevant with one’s career intact closely mimic those in other dangerous sports, like the NFL.

    In a word, fighters put their body through an enormous cycle of deprivation to make weight, especially when they drop down a weight class in which they either have never competed before or grew out of earlier in their career. After hitting weight, standard fare is to rehydrate with an IV administered; that’s why if you compare many guys’ physiques while on the scale and at fight time, they look significantly less shredded because they’re terribly dehydrated.

    This is not an argument against cutting weight -- which is part of the sport -- nor to move the sport’s weigh-ins to a same day time; if you made fighters weigh in on fight day, most of them would have to move up a weight class, and it would essentially turn the sport on its head. However, what the 30-hour weigh-ins have done is create a contest in how to cut weight while rehydrating back to as large a size as possible, packing on 20-plus pounds in extreme cases to bring an advantage into the cage.

    There are diminishing returns to this, which is a grim governing mechanism. Think Joe Riggs at 170 pounds, James Irvin at 185 or the many other Skeletor-like figures we’ve seen on the scales. Griffin, though he won a decision over Manny Gamburyan, looked tired and nowhere near as busy as in previous showings. Stevenson sleepwalked through a decision loss to Javier Vasquez.

    With MMA moving toward its second decade, the long-term effects of weight cutting will show up as stars retire and move on to life after fighting. While we’ve often prided ourselves that our sport isn’t boxing, with countless blows to the head causing brain damage, the spate of MMA tragedies related to concussions is a growing body of concern. Weight cutting figures to become part of that discussion in the future.

    Follow the jump for reader comments.

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  • Stevenson on Fighting Friends, Vazquez: 'Nature of the Beast' By: Greg Savage

    Below is an excerpt from Sherdog.com and iBNSports’ exclusive interview with Joe Stevenson. Visit the official Fight Week hub for more hard-hitting video and analysis.

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  • Jackson: Stevenson Fights Injured Constantly By: Sherdog.com Staff

    Greg Jackson, on “The Savage Dog Show,” discussing Joe Stevenson’s struggles lately:

    “Part of the issue is him fighting injured constantly. He will not pull out of a fight if his head is cut off. He’s one of those guys that is always fighting injured or gets injured and will not step out of the fight. That’s been part of the problem. I think part of the problem too is he’s a big guy, but he’s short for the division and that has its own limitations. And I think yeah, we need to change it up a little bit and see what else we can do at a lighter weight.”

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  • Picking MMA’s Youth Movement By: Jason Probst



    Don’t bet against MMA athlete 3.0. | Jose Aldo file photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com



    As part of my regular assignments covering MMA, I do an event preview with fight picks. What I have noticed is how the game seems to be trending toward younger fighters, and how the latest wave threatens to displace the old guard of veterans.

    It felt odd picking Danny Castillo over Joe Stevenson on the UFC Live 3 card. As someone intimately familiar with both fighters’ careers, Stevenson seemed a slight favorite. Yet the bout played out exactly as I thought it would. The same was true in choosing Chris Weidman over Alessio Sakara.

    In short, the younger guard in MMA -- roughly defined as anyone under 25, or with less than 15 fights -- is quickly displacing the older guard. There are many theories as to why, but in a nutshell, it is easier for a fighter to improve before he or she reaches their peak, and especially tough to improve at the same rate once they reach it.

    As MMA moves toward the completion of its second decade, the evolution curve of today’s fighter is markedly different than that of five or six years ago. Fighters are starting younger than ever and, perhaps as importantly, are often aware of MMA in grade school or high school.

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