Featherweight ‘Daddy’ Meets Vazquez at UFC Live 4

By Brian Knapp Apr 4, 2011
Faced with the cold realities of a three-fight losing streak, former UFC lightweight title contender Joe Stevenson will relocate to the featherweight division.

Stevenson (Pictured) will lock horns with fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Javier Vazquez at UFC Live 4, likely on June 26 in Pittsburgh. The UFC on Monday announced the matchup. Other rumored bouts for the event include a heavyweight duel pitting Patrick Barry against Cheick Kongo and a welterweight tilt pairing American Top Team’s Rich Attonito with Matt Brown.

Having dropped anchor at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Stevenson last appeared at UFC Live 3 in March, when he was outpointed in a unanimous decision defeat to Team Alpha Male’s Danny Castillo at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The 28-year-old Californian has secured nearly half of his 31 career victories by submission. Wins over two-time Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight tournament finalist Toby Imada, American Top Team’s Yves Edwards, former two-division Deep champion Dokonjonosuke Mishima, current stablemate Melvin Guillard and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz highlight the extensive Stevenson resume. He owns an 8-7 mark inside the UFC.

Vazquez last competed at WEC 52 in November, when he dropped a unanimous decision to the fast-rising and world-ranked Chad Mendes at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The 33-year-old Cuban-born Carlson Gracie disciple has delivered more than half (11) of his 15 career victories by submission. A one-time King of the Cage lightweight titleholder, Vazquez holds notable victories against Japanese pioneer Rumina Sato, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 alum Robert Emerson, former UFC lightweight boss Jens Pulver and fellow WEC import Mackens Semerzier. In 20 professional outings, he has never been finished.
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