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Joseph Christopher Stevenson (born June 15, 1982 in Torrance, Californiamarker) is an American mixed martial artist fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevadamarker. Competing as a welterweight, he won The Ultimate Fighter 2 welterweight tournament, although he currently fights as a lightweight. Stevenson is noted for his effective use of the guillotine choke.

Personal life

Joe's father died from bone marrow cancer. Joe and his first wife, Lisa, have two sons, Joe Jr. and Tyler.

Joe and his second wife Maia have two sons, Frankie and Maximus.

He graduated in the class of 2000 from Silverado High School in Victorville, Californiamarker.


Joe began wrestling at the age of 11 and started Jiu Jitsu at the age of 13. He has spent most of his recent training at Marc Laimon's Cobra Kai in Las Vegas. However, in March 2008 Joe opened his own school in his hometown of Victorville, CA, also the home of . "Joe Stevenson's Cobra Kai" teaches MMA as well as boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu. On November 8, 2008 Joe earned his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Robert Drysdale. After his loss to Diego Sanchez, Joe got a call from Rashad Evans for an invite to check out his camp at Jackson's Submission Fighting. After being reluctant at first, he finally joined Greg Jackson's camp in April 2009.

MMA career

Stevenson was one of the more experienced fighters participating in The Ultimate Fighter 2. He had a professional record of 24-6-0 and held the . championship at King of the Cage and the . at Gladiator Challenge going into the show.

On November 5, 2005 Stevenson defeated Luke Cummo by unanimous decision, winning The Ultimate Fighter 2 welterweight tournament and earning a six figure contract with the UFC, UFC president Dana White said "That this fight was Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar on the ground".

On April 6, 2006 in his first fight after winning The Ultimate Fighter 2, he was upset by Josh Neer at Ultimate Fight Night 4, losing the fight by unanimous decision. Following the loss, Stevenson announced that he would drop down to the lightweight division for future bouts.

On July 8, 2006 at UFC 61, Joe won his 155-pound debut against Yves Edwards. After opening up a deep cut on Edwards' head due to elbow strikes from the top position, the doctors were forced to pull Edwards from the match.

Stevenson returned to the Octagon at UFC 65, defeating Japanese fighter Dokonjonosuke Mishima by guillotine choke in the first round.

Next, Stevenson was booked for the main event at UFC Fight Night 9 against fellow Season 2 contestant Melvin Guillard. Despite a war of words between the two fighters, particularly by Guillard leading up to the bout, Stevenson made quick work of his opponent, knocking down Guillard with a punch before securing a fight-ending guillotine choke.

At UFC 74, Stevenson defeated Kurt Pellegrino by unanimous decision. After the fight doctors determined that during the course of the fight Stevenson's nose had been fractured. With his string of victories at 155, Stevenson established himself as one of the top contenders in the UFC's very competitive Lightweight Division.

UFC Lightweight Championship

Stevenson was set to fight BJ Penn for the interim lightweight championship title at UFC 80 due to ongoing litigation regarding Sean Sherk's steroid use. On December 4, 2007, the California State Athletic Commission upheld a reduced suspension for Sherk, prompting the UFC to strip him of the lightweight championship. UFC President Dana White then confirmed that Stevenson and Penn's match would be to fill the vacant lightweight championship, but the winner of that fight will face Sherk at the next opportunity.

Just seconds after the start of the fight, Penn knocked Stevenson down with a right uppercut. From the top position, Penn landed a devastating elbow to the head of Stevenson - causing a serious cut on Joe "Daddy's" hairline. In the second round, Stevenson fought more aggressively but was still unable to threaten Penn. After taking Stevenson's back, Penn secured a fight-ending rear naked at 4:02 of the second round.

After loss to Penn

At UFC 86, Stevenson returned to the Octagon and defeated Gleison Tibau by guillotine choke submission after pulling guard. Tibau tapped quickly at 2:57 in the second round.

At UFC 91 on November 15 2008, Stevenson was set to face top-contender Kenny Florian in a highly anticipated bout. Despite stating that he was offended to be considered an underdog against Florian, Stevenson was outclassed in the bout. After being taken down early on, Stevenson was mounted and eventually gave up his back to Florian. Florian forced Stevenson, who had just attained his BJJ Black Belt, to submit to a rear naked choke just 4:03 into the first round.

Stevenson returned at UFC 95 in the Main Event against debuting Lightweight Diego Sanchez where he lost via unanimous decision. According to a post-fight statement, he is interested in a rematch..

Stevenson defeated former Ultimate Fighter winner Nate Diaz by unanimous decision at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale. Stevenson showed superior wrestling and controlled the duration of the fight.

Stevenson defeated perrenial contender Spencer Fisher by submission by way of strikes at UFC 104. Stevenson secured the crucifix "beatdown" position and elbowed Fisher into defeat.

Stevenson is expected to face George Sotiropoulos on February 21, 2010 at UFC 110.

Mixed martial arts record

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
George Sotiropoulos UFC 110 Sydney, Australiamarker
Win 31-10 Spencer Fisher Submission (Elbows) UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun 2 4:03 Los Angeles, Californiamarker
Win 30–10 Nate Diaz Decision (Unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker Won Fight of the Night Honors
Loss 29–10 Diego Sanchez Decision (Unanimous) UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson 3 5:00 Londonmarker, Englandmarker Won Fight of the Night Honors
Loss 29–9 Kenny Florian Submission (Rear Naked Choke) UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar 1 4:03 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 29–8 Gleison Tibau Submission (Guillotine Choke) UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin 2 2:57 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker
Loss 28–8 B.J. Penn Submission (Rear Naked Choke) UFC 80: Rapid Fire 2 4:02 Newcastlemarker, Englandmarker For UFC Lightweight Championship
Win 28–7 Kurt Pellegrino Decision (Unanimous) UFC 74: Respect 3 5:00 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 27–7 Melvin Guillard Submission (Guillotine Choke) UFC Fight Night 9 1 0:27 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 26–7 Dokonjonosuke Mishima Submission (Guillotine Choke) UFC 65: Bad Intentions 1 2:07 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 25–7 Yves Edwards TKO (Doctor Stoppage) UFC 61: Bitter Rivals 2 5:00 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker Lightweight Debut
Loss 24–7 Josh Neer Decision (Unanimous) UFC Ultimate Fight Night 4 3 5:00 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 24–6 Luke Cummo Decision (Unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale 3 5:00 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker Won The Ultimate Fighter 2 Welterweight Tournament
Win 23–6 Joe Camacho Submission (Rear Naked Choke) KOTC 33 – After Shock 2 4:36 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 22–6 Cory Cass Submission GC 21 – Gladiator Challenge 21 1 1:10 Eagle Mountain Casino
Win 21–6 Thomas Schulte KO (Knee) KOTC 30 – The Pinnacle 1 3:29 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 20–6 Demitrius Jefford KO GC 19 – Gladiator Challenge 19 1 1:09 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 19–6 Kiko Cassela TKO (Corner Stoppage) KOTC 27 – Aftermath 1 4:21 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 18–6 Thomas Denny Submission (Guillotine Choke) KOTC 23 – Sin City 1 0:15 Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 17–6 Chuck Kim Submission (Armbar) GC 15 – Gladiator Challenge 15 1 1:03 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 16–6 Casey Balkenbush TKO (Elbows) GC 14 – Gladiator Challenge 14 1 2:27 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Loss 15–6 Romie Aram Decision (Unanimous) KOTC 17 – San Jacinto 3 5:00 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 15–5 Jeremy Jackson Submission (Strikes) KOTC 15 – Bad Intentions 1 1:27 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 14–5 Cruz Chacon Submission (Kneebar) ROF 4 – Warriors 1 Coloradomarker, United Statesmarker
Win 13–5 Jerry Gummo Submission (Rear Naked Choke) KOTC 12 – Cold Blood 1 1:05 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 12–5 Brad Gumm Decision UP 1 – Ultimate Pankration 1 3 4:00 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 11–5 Gary Aldar TKO GC 6 – Caged Beasts 1 2:37 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Loss 10–5 Brad Gumm Decision GC 5 – Rumble in the Rockies 3 5:00 Coloradomarker, United Statesmarker
Win 10–4 Ryan Painter Decision (Split) KOTC 10 – Critical Mass 2 5:00 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 9–4 Edwin Dewees Decision (Unanimous) GC 4 – Collision at Colusa 3 5:00 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Loss 8–4 Ronald Jhun Decision (Unanimous) Warriors Quest 1 – The New Beginning 3 5:00 Hawaiimarker, United Statesmarker
Win 8–3 Maurice Wilson Decision GC 3 – Showdown at Soboba 3 5:00 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 7–3 Kai Kamaka Submission GC 2 – Collision at Colusa 1 2:16 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 6–3 Eric Meaders Decision KOTC 6 – Road Warriors 3 5:00 Michiganmarker, United Statesmarker
Win 5–3 Mike Berardi Decision RITC 20 – Rage in the Cage 20 3 3:00 Arizonamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 4–3 David Roberts Submission HBUP – Huntington Beach Underground Pancrase 1 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Win 3–3 Toby Imada Decision KOTC 3 – Knockout Nightmare 2 5:00 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Loss 2–3 Maurice Wilson Submission (Guillotine Choke) EFC – Extreme Fighter Challenge 2
Loss 2–2 Chris Brennan Submission (Triangle Choke) KOTC 1 – Bas Rutten's King of the Cage 1 2:04 Californiamarker, United Statesmarker
Loss 2–1 Jens Pulver KO (Punch) BRI 3 – Bas Rutten Invitational 3 1 0:38 Coloradomarker, United Statesmarker
Win 2–0 Steve Horton Submission (Rear Naked Choke) BRI 3 – Bas Rutten Invitational 3 1 2:21 Coloradomarker, United Statesmarker
Win 1–0 Joe Camacho Submission ESF – Empire One N/A Californiamarker, United Statesmarker


  2. He became a professional fighter the day after his 17th birthday and became a father at 18, when his income was about a $1,000 a month. He was divorced from his first wife, but the divorce was anything but simple and he had to drive seven hours one way just to see his children.
  3. [1]
  4. Congratualtions Joe!! On Tuesday April 8th at about 10 PM PST, Joe Daddy and his wife Maia welcomed into the world their newest baby boy… Maximus Stevenson.
  5. [2]
  6. Stevenson’S November Title Shot Is Probably Gone « Mr. Sunshine
  7. Sherk not stripped; Penn-Stevenson for interim title - MMA Experts Blog - Mixed Martial Arts - Yahoo! Sports
  9. UFC : Ultimate Fighting Championship

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