After much speculation, the UFC officially announced that a lightweight matchup between Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz has been slated for The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20th.
Diaz will be trying to rebound from a close split decision loss to Clay Guida at UFC 94 earlier this year. Prior to his bout with Guida, the Cesar Gracie trained fighter had been able to walk through his previous five UFC opponents.
“That guy’s a tough fighter,” Diaz told 5thRound.com about Stevenson. “He always comes, he comes hard. He fought BJ Penn, he got beat up the whole time, but he was in there pushing it.”
Although this is an important match for both fighters, Stevenson may need this one more. He has dropped three of his last four bouts, including his last two.
It may be hard to believe, but Stevenson could very well find his head on the UFC’s chopping block if he were to drop three straight bouts, just one year removed from his title fight with Penn at UFC 80.
Here is the lineup that fans inside of the Palms Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada will be treated to:
Chris Lytle vs. Kevin Burns
Brad Blackburn vs. Edgar Garcia
Anthony Johnson vs. Matt Brown
Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson
TUF 9 Lightweight Finals
TUF 9 Welterweight Finals
Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez