Joe Stevenson returns to the Octagon tonight at UFC 74 in Las Vegas to face another tough lightweight competitor in Kurt Pellegrino.
Both fighters are currently on three-fight winning streaks and both are looking to continue their winning weighs en route to a UFC lightweight title shot. Of course, only one man will earn that distinction.
For his part, Stevenson says that training has gone well for this fight. “My weight has been stupendous, my training partners have been phenomenal, my cardio work is great, my state of mind is great, my son just turned 2 the other day, and I’m ready to rock and roll.”
But that’s not to say that he feels that Pellegrino is a push over. Stevenson realizes it will be a difficult fight, but believes that will only serve to make this one to remember.
“I have a feeling this is going to be a great fight, maybe one of the best fights of the year. Definitely my toughest fight yet.”
With the turmoil currently surrounding the title belt – former #1 challenger Hermes Franca and champion Sean Sherk both failed their drug tests following their championship bout – there’s talk that, regardless of the outcome of Sherk’s battle to clear his name, Stevenson deserves the next title shot no matter what.
Surprisingly Stevenson, currently ranked as the #10 lightweight fighter in the world by MMAWeekly.com, doesn’t necessarily agree. “You can’t honestly say that I deserve it no matter what because look at the card I’m on, the lightweights on that card [are] unbelievable.”
Title shot or not, the field is sure to narrow after Joe Stevenson and Kurt Pellegrino square off in the Octagon at UFC 74 in Las Vegas tonight.