This fight features two veteran lightweights who are struggling to stay afloat despite some discouraging setbacks throughout their journeys to advance up the ladder in the fiercely competitive setting of the UFC 155 division.
It does fit the label of another striker versus grappler pairing, with both fighters being strongly rooted to their respective specialties. Stevenson is split at 2-2 since challenging Penn for the strap: he was forced to remain standing against lightweight newcomer Diego Sanchez, and allowed Florian to finagle a rear-naked choke; he was able to submit Tibau with his signature guillotine, and neutralized Nate Diaz by riding him to a decision victory.
Stevenson is a hefty 155′er with good wrestling and a strong submission grappling pedigree. He’s made extensive improvements to his striking game since winning The Ultimate Fighter, cleaning up his stance and guard, and flinging out a hard, stiff jab that’s served as a head-rattling reminder to opponents who have completely written off his stand-up, but somewhat struggling to piece together 3 and 4 punch combinations without over-committing and retaining his center of balance.
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