by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
A lightweight showdown between Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz will grace the season nine finale of “The Ultimate Fighter” in Las Vegas.
According to sources close to the fighters, both have agreed to face each other and are expected to sign bout agreements in the next day.
The June 20 event is headlined by another lightweight showdown when Diego Sanchez, the other half of Stevenson’s UFC 95 main event, faces off with bulldog Clay Guida.
Stevenson lost a unanimous decision to Sanchez at the London event last month, struggling with the newly minted lightweight’s striking.
Since dropping to lightweight in July of 2006, Stevenson, the winner of the second season of “TUF,” has gone 5-3, with losses to top-ranked B.J. Penn, Kenny Florian, and Sanchez. The Victorville resident served much of his young adult life in the cage, debuting at sixteen and amassing a professional record of 29-10.
Diaz is coming off his first loss in the UFC since winning the fifth season of “TUF,” losing a razor-close split decision to Guida at UFC 94. The loss snapped a five-fight winning streak, bringing his overall professional record to 10-3.
The ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” pits sixteen lightweight and welterweight fighters from the U.K. and U.S. against each other for a UFC contract.