Joe Stevenson weighs-in for UFC 74: Respect. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow afternoon’s UFC 80: Rapid Fire are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
MMA on Tap will start live coverage of the event starting at 1:00 PM EST tomorrow.
BJ Penn (154 lbs) vs Joe Stevenson (154 lbs)
Fabricio Werdum (247 lbs) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (255 lbs)
Jess Liaudin (170 lbs) vs Marcus Davis (169 lbs)
Wilson Gouveia (205 lbs) vs Jason Lambert (204 lbs)
Jorge Rivera (185 lbs) vs Kendall Grove (186 lbs)
Antoni Hardonk (244 lbs) vs Colin Robinson (238 lbs)
Paul Kelly (170 lbs) vs Paul Taylor (170 lbs)
James Lee (206 lbs) vs Alessio Sakara (206 lbs)
Per Eklund (155 lbs) vs Sam Stout (155 lbs)
Joe Stevenson weighs-in for UFC 74: Respect. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
It’s no surprise as to how B.J. Penn received his nickname of “The Prodigy”. After all, it only took him three years to earn a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, making him the fastest American to do so in history. (It usually takes a normal person 1-2 years of training just to earn their blue belt.) However you can also consider Joe Stevenson a prodigy himself. By the age of 16, Stevenson was already fighting professionally and took on then-future UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver in just his third career fight.
The two are set to clash for the vacant UFC lightweight title when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to England for the third time in the last two years for UFC 80: Rapid Fire, which will take place this Saturday at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.
What was originally slated to be a battle for the interim lightweight championship became a fight for the real thing after the California State Athletic Commission decided to reduce the suspension Sean Sherk received for a positive steroids test rather than overturning it and clearing his name. Following the CSAC’s decision, UFC president Dana White had no choice but to strip Sherk of his belt. The Minnesota native will now have to wait to face the winner of this weekend’s title bout in order to get a shot at regaining his prized possession.
Interim or not, the fact that this fight is for the title means something to Stevenson.
“The fight being for a title, it definitely has a lot of meaning behind it,” Stevenson said during a recent interview session. “It’s something that I’ve aspired to have ever since I started watching and following this sport.”
RawVegas’ Road to UFC 80 continues to follow Joe Stevenson as he prepares to take on B.J. Penn for the UFC lightweight title this Saturday at UFC 80: Rapid Fire. This episode takes a look at Stevenson’s training with Marc Laimon, the importance behind the fight being for a title, and his last fight against Kurt Pellegrino.
B.J. Penn discusses his third straight opportunity to fight for the UFC lightweight title, this time against Joe Stevenson at UFC 80: Rapid Fire this Saturday with ESPN. Penn also talks about how he feels his all-around game is better than Stevenson’s as well.
Joe “Daddy” Stevenson discusses his upcoming fight against B.J. Penn at this weekend’s UFC 80: Rapid Fire at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England with ESPN. The two will be fighting for the UFC lightweight title, which was vacated by Sean Sherk last month following a denial of his appeal of a positive steroids test through the California State Athletic Commission.
Joe “Daddy” Stevenson discusses his upcoming UFC lightweight title fight against B.J. Penn at UFC 80: Rapid Fire, his childhood growing up, and how he renovated Marc Laimon’s house along with Kalib Starnes and Kendall Grove with RawVegas.
UFC officials confirmed over the weekend that they have stripped Sean Sherk of the UFC Lightweight Championship.
The announcement comes just days after the California State Athletic Commission decided to reduce Sherk’s positive test for anabolic steroids rather than overturning it. Sherk will be permitted to return to action next month and was not fined by the commission.
The scheduled bout between B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson at UFC 80: Rapid Fire in January will now be for the actual title instead of the interim belt.
UFC President Dana White announced earlier today that Sherk will face the winner of the fight at some point next year:
“I have nothing but respect for Sean Sherk and I believe he’s been honest throughout this whole process,” said UFC President Dana White. “But BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will be fighting for the lightweight title at UFC 80 on January 19th and Sean Sherk will fight the winner for the title.”
The UFC held a conference call with the media yesterday afternoon to promote this weekend’s UFC 78: Validation which is set to take place live from the brand new Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey this Saturday. UFC President Dana White was the host of the call. Featured fighters included Michael Bisping, Rashad Evans, and Houston Alexander.
- White stated that Randy Couture contacted him and requested a face-to-face meeting. White said that the meeting will most likely take place at some point this week. White also noted that Couture has been offered an official title defense against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for early next year. Couture has not given an answer as of yet. White says that there are no plans for an interim heavyweight title if Couture chooses not to accept.
- When it comes to Sean Sherk, White says that Sherk will now most likely be stripped of his title if the California State Athletic Commission refuses to overturn his positive steroids test next month. That means Penn and Stevenson would fight for the actual title at UFC 80 and that Sherk would become a mandatory challenger once his suspension was over.
- No decision on whether or not UFC 80 will be broadcasted on PPV or Spike TV.
- The UFC held a meeting with all of it’s fighters last week in Las Vegas where a variety of topics were discussed. Topics included the steroids problem, contracts, taxes, organization policy, and how to deal with the media. Rumor has it that White told fighters they no longer be permitted to participate in internet radio shows. That seems to be false however as Spencer Fisher was on Sherdog yesterday.
- White says that he is slated to meet with officials in the New York State Athletic Commission to discuss the possible legalization of MMA in the state.
- White noted that rematches of Tito Ortiz-Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping-Matt Hamill were originally supposed to headline UFC 78 but both Hamill and Ortiz claimed that they were injured and couldn’t compete.
- The next UFC Fight Night is scheduled for January 23rd. No word on a location or potential participants on the card yet.
- The UFC plans on returning to Florida at some point next year but the show will most likely be a PPV instead of the usual UFC Fight Night cards that have taken place in the state.
- While White did not reveal which major network he was currently in discussions with, he admitted that he was indeed in talks to have the UFC air on a “prime-time” network in the future.
- White has no idea concerning who is next in line to challenge Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title. White noted that he has attempted multiple times to try and get Dan Henderson to drop down to middleweight but Henderson seems to want to stay at 205 lbs.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Sean Sherk will not be stripped of his UFC lightweight title and B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson will face off for an interim title at UFC 80 in January in Newcastle, England. UFC president Dana White stated that he was fed up with the way the California State Athletic Commission has handled the Sherk case and because of that he has opted not to strip Sherk.
White had vowed to strip Sherk of the title, but said Friday that he no longer plans to do so.
“The way this whole thing has been handled has been a mess,” White said.
He said Penn and Stevenson, who said he learned on Tuesday that he and his wife will have another son, will fight for the interim title as the main event of UFC 80 in Newcastle, England, likely on Jan. 19.
The winner of that bout would then presumably face Sherk once Sherk’s status is defined by the commission.
Sean Sherk appeared before the CSAC on Oct. 31 but his case was postponed to Nov. 13 after the commission released they had not received the 17-page brief from Sherk’s attorney Howard Jacobs.
Joe Stevenson may very well be taking on B.J. Penn for the UFC Lightweight Title if current champion Sean Sherk’s October 31st appeal isn’t heard in a positive way according to The Fight Network:
The one-year suspension of champion Sean Sherk for alleged steroid use following his July 7 title defense to Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in Sacramento, Calif., has stalled plans to have the Minnesotan wrestler face number-one contender B.J. Penn at Nov. 17’s UFC 78 in Newark, N.J.
And while it appeared that Penn has been patiently awaiting a new opponent for Nov. in the interim, the popular Hawaiian’s camp has confirmed their leader is now preparing for a Dec. 29 match-up at UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev. Sherk faces the California State Athletic Commission on Oct. 31 to appeal his case, but if he cannot shake the suspension and is stripped of his title by Zuffa LLC, Penn (11-4-1) could face UFC 74 standout Joe Stevenson (28-7).
“I was told I was definitely fighting in December or January,” said Stevenson Thursday. “I think there’s a strong possibility I’ll face B.J. Penn.”
So it seems that the UFC has a backup plan already set just in case Sherk’s positive test isn’t overturned. However, what happens if Sherk is permitted to remain champion? It’s obvious that Penn is the number one contender and would take on Sherk. So what about Stevenson? With Guida-Huerta and Fisher-Edgar already unofficially locked up, Kenny Florian may be the only other option for a Stevenson opponent.