Joe Stevenson

Joseph Christopher Stevenson (born June 15, 1982) is a retired American mixed martial artist fighting out of Hesperia, California. Coached by (UFC Hall of Famer) Matt Hughes, Stevenson rose to prominence by becoming The Ultimate Fighter 2 Welterweight Tournament Winner. Following a drop in weight class and two-year undefeated streak, he was ranked among the top UFC Lightweight competitors, culminating into a title shot for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship against B.J. Penn at UFC 80: Rapid Fire (after the title was stripped from Sean Sherk). Stevenson fought most of his career as a Lightweight and made his Featherweight debut at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry. He is the former King of the Cage Lightweight Champion.

Joe Stevenson
Joe Stevenson - UFC 100 Fan Expo - Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas.jpg
BornJoseph Christopher Stevenson
(1982-06-15) June 15, 1982 (age 39)
Torrance, California, United States
Other namesDaddy
ResidenceHesperia, California, United States
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
DivisionFeatherweight (145lb) (2011–2012)
Lightweight (155lb) (2006–2011, 2012–present)
Welterweight (170lb)
Reach70 in (180 cm)
StyleBJJ, Judo, Gaidojutsu
TeamJackson's Submission Fighting
Rank  2nd degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Robert Drysdale[1]
  2nd degree black belt in Judo under Ron Tripp[1]
Years active1999–2017
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout7
By submission15
By decision11
By knockout2
By submission5
By decision9
UniversityVictor Valley College
SpouseMaia Stevenson
Notable school(s)Silverado High
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Stevenson began wrestling at the age of 11 and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 13. He moved to Las Vegas in 2004, and began training at Marc Laimon's Cobra Kai in Las Vegas. In March 2008, Stevenson opened his own school in his hometown of Victorville, California. "Joe Stevenson's Cobra Kai" teaches MMA as well as boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. On November 8, 2008, Stevenson earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Robert Drysdale. After his loss to Diego Sanchez, Stevenson 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.

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

The Ultimate FighterEdit

Stevenson was one of the more experienced fighters participating in The Ultimate Fighter 2. He had a professional record of 23-6-0 and held the 155 lb (70 kg). championship at King of the Cage and the 170 lb (77 kg). 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 was Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, only on the ground".

UFC startEdit

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, Stevenson won his 155-pound debut against Yves Edwards. After opening up a deep cut on Edwards 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.[2] 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 ChampionshipEdit

Stevenson was set to fight BJ Penn for the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship at UFC 80 due to ongoing litigation regarding Sean Sherk's steroid use.[3] 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 would 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 strong elbow to the head of Stevenson—causing a serious cut on Stevenson's hairline.[4] 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 choke at 4:02 of the second round.[5]

UFC after loss to PennEdit

At UFC 86, Stevenson returned to the Octagon and defeated Gleison Tibau by guillotine choke submission after pulling guard.[6] Tibau tapped quickly at 2:57 in the second round.[7]

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 three minutes into the fight, Stevenson was mounted and eventually gave up his back to Florian. Florian forced Stevenson, who had just attained his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, to submit to a rear naked choke just 4:03 into the first round.[8]

Stevenson returned at UFC 95 in the main event against debuting lightweight Diego Sanchez, and lost via unanimous decision. According to a post-fight statement, he is interested in a rematch.[9]

Stevenson defeated The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner Nate Diaz by unanimous decision at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale. Stevenson showed superior wrestling and controlled the majority of the fight.

In his next bout, Stevenson defeated Spencer Fisher by submission due to strikes at UFC 104. Stevenson secured the crucifix position and landed elbows, forcing Fisher to submit.

Stevenson went on to face top 10 contender George Sotiropoulos on February 21, 2010, at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia.[10] Stevenson lost a very one sided fight by unanimous decision, but was awarded Fight of the Night honors.[11]

Stevenson was expected to face former Pride Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi on August 1, 2010 at UFC Live on Versus: 2.[12] However, Stevenson pulled out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by Tyson Griffin.[13]

Stevenson faced fellow TUF winner Mac Danzig on December 11, 2010 at UFC 124. Stevenson lost via a left hook KO as Danzig was moving back toward the cage. This loss was his first KO loss since 1999.[14]

Stevenson suffered his third consecutive loss after falling short via unanimous decision to Danny Castillo on March 3, 2011 at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann.[15]

Stevenson was defeated by Javier Vazquez via unanimous decision in his featherweight debut on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4.[16] After having four consecutive losses, Stevenson was released from the UFC.[17] He became the fourth The Ultimate Fighter winner to be released from the UFC.


Stevenson signed a new contract with the Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA). He fought Dakota Cochrane at Lightweight in the main event of RFA 3: Stevenson vs. Cochrane on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at the Viaero Event Center in Kearney, Nebraska.[18] Stevenson was rocked early in the first round by a knee from Cochrane, yet Stevenson managed to take Cochrane down to control him throughout the round. At the start of the second round, Cochrane rocked Stevenson again and managed to secure a rear naked choke. Stevenson escaped the attempt, but Cochrane was able to quickly take Stevenson's back a second time and finished via submission due to a rear-naked choke.

Stevenson next fought Dominique Robinson at Sugar Shane Promotions on January 30, 2015. He lost the fight via split decision.[19]

After a year-and-a-half away from the sport, Stevenson returned to the cage July 30, 2016 for the California Fight League. He faced Daniel McWilliams and won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Stevenson made a quick return to the cage, facing Gabriel Miglioli at Tru-Form Entertainment on August 26, 2016. He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Stevenson is a contestant of The Ultimate Fighter season 25, consisting of fighters that have been competing in previous The Ultimate Fighter seasons.[20]

The Ultimate Fighter: RedemptionEdit

In February 2017, it was revealed that Stevenson would compete again on the UFC's reality show in the 25th season on The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption.[21] Stevenson was the fifth pick overall for Team Dillashaw. He was defeated by Justin Edwards in the opening round of fights by unanimous decision. He was defeated by Hayder Hassan by knockout in the first round in the wildcard bout.

Television workEdit

Stevenson signed on to play Fight Coach "Joe Daddy" for 3 episodes in the first season of the DirectTV 2014 series Kingdom.[22] Ultimately he ended being a recurring character, appearing regularly in the episodes.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Stevenson is the only son of Carolina Smith of Victorville, California. He has one older sister, Monica; a younger sister, Reye; and a step sister, Jessica. Stevenson's first wife, Lisa, gave him two sons; Joe Jr. and Tyler.[24] Stevenson and his second wife, Maia, have two sons, Frankie and Maximus.[25][26] Stevenson's father, Raymond, died from bone marrow cancer when Joe was 17.[27]

He graduated in the class of 2000 from Silverado High School in Victorville, California. As a Hawk Wrestler, he placed in CIF as a sophomore and senior (4th at Masters in March, 2000). Stevenson put his life on hold when his maternal grandfather suddenly became ill in 1999. After finishing high school in June, Joe "Daddy" Stevenson married his first wife; became a father of Joey Jr.; continued to fight professionally for King of the Cage; and wrestled at Victor Valley College to become the 198-lb champion at the 2000 Southern California Community College Regionals (a title previously held by fellow-UFC-star, Tito Ortiz). Stevenson was up a few weight divisions due to his last-minute change of schedule with King of the Cage, and also because of his friend, teammate and two-time Community College All-American at 184, UFC fighter, Phillip Miller.

Stevenson has struggled with alcoholism his whole adulthood, but claims to have been sober since 2014.[28]

Championships and achievementsEdit

Submission grapplingEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
49 matches 33 wins 16 losses
By knockout 7 2
By submission 15 5
By decision 11 9
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 33–16 Gabriel Miglioli Decision (unanimous) TFE Vengeance August 26, 2016 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States
Win 32–16 Daniel McWilliams TKO (punches) California Fight League 8: Stevenson vs McWilliams July 30, 2016 1 1:21 San Bernardino, California, United States
Loss 31–16 Dominique Robinson Decision (split) Super Brawl Showdown I January 30, 2015 5 5:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Loss 31–15 Dakota Cochrane Submission (rear-naked choke) RFA 3: Stevenson vs. Cochrane June 30, 2012 2 1:04 Kearney, Nebraska, United States
Loss 31–14 Javier Vazquez Decision (unanimous) UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry June 26, 2011 3 5:00 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Featherweight debut
Loss 31–13 Danny Castillo Decision (unanimous) UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann March 3, 2011 3 5:00 Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Loss 31–12 Mac Danzig KO (punch) UFC 124 December 11, 2010 1 1:54 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Loss 31–11 George Sotiropoulos Decision (unanimous) UFC 110 February 21, 2010 3 5:00 Sydney, Australia Fight of the Night.
Win 31–10 Spencer Fisher Submission (elbows) UFC 104 October 24, 2009 2 4:03 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 30–10 Nate Diaz Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom Finale June 20, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night
Loss 29–10 Diego Sanchez Decision (unanimous) UFC 95 February 21, 2009 3 5:00 London, England Fight of the Night
Loss 29–9 Kenny Florian Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 91 November 15, 2008 1 4:03 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 29–8 Gleison Tibau Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 86 July 5, 2008 2 2:57 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 28–8 B.J. Penn Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 80 January 19, 2008 2 4:02 Newcastle, England For the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship.
Win 28–7 Kurt Pellegrino Decision (unanimous) UFC 74 August 25, 2007 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 27–7 Melvin Guillard Submission (guillotine choke) UFC Fight Night: Stevenson vs. Guillard April 5, 2007 1 0:27 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 26–7 Dokonjonosuke Mishima Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 65: Bad Intentions November 18, 2006 1 2:07 Sacramento, California, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 25–7 Yves Edwards TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 61: Bitter Rivals July 8, 2006 2 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Return to Lightweight; Fight of the Night.
Loss 24–7 Josh Neer Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 4 April 6, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 24–6 Luke Cummo Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale November 5, 2005 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Welterweight Tournament.
Win 23–6 Joe Camacho Submission (guillotine choke) KOTC 33: After Shock February 20, 2004 2 4:36 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 22–6 Cory Cass Submission GC 21: Gladiator Challenge 21 December 7, 2003 1 1:10 Porterville, California, United States
Win 21–6 Thomas Schulte KO (knee) KOTC 30: The Pinnacle November 2, 2003 1 3:29 Pala, California, United States Won the KOTC Lightweight Championship
Win 20–6 Demitrius Jefford KO GC 19: Gladiator Challenge 19 September 28, 2003 1 1:09 Porterville, California, United States
Win 19–6 Kiko Cassela TKO (corner stoppage) KOTC 27: Aftermath August 10, 2003 1 4:21 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 18–6 Thomas Denny Submission (guillotine choke) KOTC 23: Sin City May 16, 2003 1 0:15 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 17–6 Chuck Kim Submission (armbar) GC 15: Gladiator Challenge 15 April 13, 2003 1 1:03 Porterville, California, United States
Win 16–6 Casey Balkenbush TKO (elbows) GC 14: Gladiator Challenge 14 February 16, 2003 1 2:27 Porterville, California, United States
Loss 15–6 Romie Aram Decision (unanimous) KOTC 17: Nuclear Explosion October 19, 2002 3 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 15–5 Jeremy Jackson Submission (punches) KOTC 15: Bad Intentions June 22, 2002 1 1:27 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 14–5 Cruz Chacon Submission (kneebar) Ring Of Fire Warriors 4 March 15, 2002 1 1:35 Denver, Colorado, United States Won the Ring of Fire Welterweight Championship[29]
Win 13–5 Jerry Gummo Submission (rear-naked choke) KOTC 12: Cold Blood February 9, 2002 1 1:05 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 12–5 Brad Gumm Decision UP 1: Ultimate Pankration 1 November 11, 2001 3 4:00 Cabazon, California, United States
Win 11–5 Gary Aldar TKO (punches) GC 6: Caged Beasts September 9, 2001 1 2:37 Colusa, California, United States
Loss 10–5 Brad Gumm Decision GC 5: Rumble in the Rockies August 19, 2001 3 5:00 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 10–4 Ryan Painter Decision (split) KOTC 10: Critical Mass August 4, 2001 2 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 9–4 Edwin Dewees Decision (unanimous) GC 4: Collision at Colusa June 17, 2001 3 5:00 Colusa, California, United States
Loss 8–4 Ronald Jhun Decision (unanimous) Warriors Quest 1: The New Beginning May 29, 2001 3 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States For the vacant Warriors Quest Middleweight Championship[31]
Win 8–3 Maurice Wilson Decision (unanimous) GC 3: Showdown at Soboba April 7, 2001 3 5:00 Friant, California, United States
Win 7–3 Kai Kamaka Submission (shoulder lock) GC 2: Collision at Colusa February 18, 2001 1 2:16 Colusa, California, United States
Win 6–3 Eric Meaders Decision (unanimous) KOTC 6: Road Warriors November 29, 2000 3 5:00 Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Win 5–3 Mike Berardi Decision (unanimous) RITC 20: Rage in the Cage 20 August 30, 2000 3 3:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Won the Rage In The Cage Welterweight Championship[29]
Win 4–3 David Roberts Submission HBUP: Huntington Beach Underground Pancrase May 13, 2000 1 N/A Huntington Beach, California, United States
Win 3–3 Toby Imada Decision KOTC 3: Knockout Nightmare April 15, 2000 2 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States
Loss 2–3 Maurice Wilson Submission (guillotine choke) EFC: Extreme Fighter Challenge February 2, 2000 2 N/A California, United States
Loss 2–2 Chris Brennan Submission (triangle choke) KOTC 1: Bas Rutten's King of the Cage October 30, 1999 1 2:04 San Jacinto, California, United States
Loss 2–1 Jens Pulver KO (punch) BRI 3: Bas Rutten Invitational 3 June 1, 1999 1 0:38 Colorado, United States
Win 2–0 Steve Horton Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 2:21
Win 1–0 Joe Camacho Submission (triangle choke) ESF: Empire One May 15, 1999 1 N/A

Mixed martial arts exhibition recordEdit

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 2–2 Hayder Hassan KO (punch) The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption June 7, 2017 (airdate) 1 0:18 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Wild Card fight
Loss 2–1 Justin Edwards Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption May 31, 2017 (airdate) 2 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption opening round
win 2–0 Jason Von Flue Submission (armbar) The Ultimate Fighter 2 November 1, 2005 (airdate) 1 4:46 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter 2 semi-finals
Win 1–0 Marcus Davis Submission (elbows) The Ultimate Fighter 2 September 5, 2005 (airdate) 1 4:10 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter 2 quarter-finals


  1. ^ a b "Cobra Kai Jiu Jitsu".
  2. ^ Stevenson’S November Title Shot Is Probably Gone « Mr. Sunshine
  3. ^ Sherk not stripped; Penn-Stevenson for interim title - MMA Experts Blog - Mixed Martial Arts - Yahoo! Sports
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2008-11-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ UFC : Ultimate Fighting Championship Archived 2007-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ UFC 86 'Jackson vs. Griffin' Play-by-Play
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-11-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "UFC 91 Live Blog".
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Joe Stevenson vs. George Sotiropoulos Planned for UFC 110 in Australia". Retrieved 2009-11-29.
  11. ^ Morgan, John. "Dana White says title talk premature, but UFC 110's George Sotiropoulos "in the mix"". MMAjunkie. Archived from the original on 2012-07-18.
  12. ^ "UFC on Versus 2: Joe Stevenson vs Takanori Gomi set for Salt Lake City on August 1". Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  13. ^ "Tyson Griffin Replaces Injured Joe Stevenson Against Takanori Gomi at UFC on Versus 2". Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  14. ^ Hendricks, Maggie. "Danzig knocks out Joe "Daddy" at UFC 124". Yahoo!.
  15. ^ "Joe Stevenson vs. Danny Castillo a late addition to UFC on Versus 3". Archived from the original on 2011-01-30. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  16. ^ "Joe Stevenson heads to featherweight, meets Javier Vazquez at UFC on Versus 4". April 4, 2011. Archived from the original on April 6, 2011.
  17. ^ "Latest UFC cut (Versus 4, UFC 132)". Sherdog. Archived from the original on 2011-10-25.
  18. ^ "RFA signs MMA star Joe "Daddy" Stevenson".
  19. ^ "Dominique Robinson defeats Joe Stevenson via 5 Round Decision".
  20. ^ John Morgan (Feb 15, 2017). "'TUF 25: Redemption' cast revealed, includes former winners Joe Stevenson, Eddie Gordon".
  21. ^ Raimondi, Marc (2017-02-15). "Joe Stevenson, James Krause, Jesse Taylor among TUF: Redemption cast members". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  22. ^ Damon Martin (October 8, 2014). "Joe Stevenson found his 'Kingdom' after hanging up the gloves". Fox Sports. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "Joe Stevenson". IMDb. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Stevenson climbing the lightweight ladder
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Joe 'Daddy' Stevenson a daddy ... again". 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2008-11-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Adam Guillen Jr. (Feb 22, 2017). "Video: Joe Stevenson talks battle with alcoholism ahead of TUF: 'Redemption'".
  29. ^ a b c d "Joe Stevenson". 14 September 2018.
  30. ^ Grappling Hall Of Fame | Grapplers Quest
  31. ^ "Warriors Quest 2001:"the New Beginning"".

External linksEdit