At UFC on Versus 4: Marquardt vs. Story, Joe Stevenson is taking a step down… kind of.

Joe Stevenson at UFC 110

Joe Stevenson at UFC 110

The step down isn’t this weekend’s competition in Javier Vazquez. To call Vazquez a step down is a sure way of getting put to sleep quicker than someone with a sleep-aid addiction. The step down is more so about the drop in weight from the UFC’s 155-pound division to the realm of 145-pound fighters like Aldo and Mendes at featherweight.

Stevenson’s move to featherweight comes off the heels of a three-fight losing-streak and, at first glimpse, looks as though he’s dropping to get away from the competition he can’t seem to get past. On the contrary, he may look at the lightweights as a tough crowd, but the purpose of the drop in weight class is stems from Stevenson seeing himself closer to a title shot at 145-pounds than at 155-pounds, according to him.

The newly trimmed featherweight explains.

“I want a belt in the UFC and now that the UFC has got that 145 (pound) weight class, I’m, kind of, just zoned about getting a belt there,” Stevenson told MMAWeekly Radio. “(Lightweight) is going to take a lot of time and hard work. It’s not a weight class that I’m scared of. It’s a weight class that’s very deep and very tough. And I just see it happening and (realizing my dream) a little bit faster at 145.

“Logically, yeah, I lost three in a row and if I look at trying to get a title shot, I’m going to have to win, at that division, nine in a row against stellar guys, whereas at this weight, with my record and the things that I’ve done in the past, (if) I beat three or four of the top guys, I’m going to have a title shot. And that’s what excites me.”

And the fact that he’s dropped three fights in a row wasn’t the catalyst for making the move to featherweight either. Actually, the thought of shedding the 10 extra pounds came a while ago. The drop would have come earlier, but the motivation wasn’t there like it is now, and making weight at lightweight had become all too easy. Now, with the way the featherweight division has opened up, Stevenson sees his opportunity and is jumping at the chance to make waves at 145 pounds in hopes of getting a shot of putting the gold belt around his waist.

Not only is he taking on new challenges, but the diet required to cut to 145 pounds has him rocking a washboard stomach – an added perk for the summer season.

“About two years ago, I was thinking I can make featherweight,” Stevenson said. “(I just) didn’t really have a cause, a want to. I mean, it just got really easy to make the weight at 155. I weighed, this morning, 155. And Melvin (Guillard) got here and he was, like, ‘my gosh, I can’t believe this.’ You know, it just takes a very strict diet and, I guess, I have a six-pack for the summer, now.”

For Stevenson, cutting weight to featherweight is a piece of cake. Or more appropriately, no pieces of cake at all.

The diet was key in his reduction of pounds to compete in the smaller and quicker weight class. The winner of The Ultimate Fighter’s second season enlisted the help from known MMA nutritionist George Lockhart in order to stay on top of eating the right foods and intaking the appropriate calories.

No longer was he allowed to take random trips to his favorite fast food restaurant. No, Stevenson stuck to his game plan of eating in-home meals and making sure what he was consuming would benefit him towards his goal of making weight.

“I really just had to diet for a couple weeks strict,” he said. “I would just stop eating out and I would just eat healthy at the house, large portions. I was probably eating six to seven meals and, I mean, big meals and maintaining my weight at 55. So, 45 (was) just a rock’s throw away. I’m down to six good sized meals, eating every three hours. (I) worked with a guy named George Lockhart… great guy, increased my fat intake. Some calories are a little more important than other calories and I feel great.”

Perhaps it was the talks with UFC brass that confirmed a move to featherweight was the best thing for Stevenson to do for his career. After talking with Sean Shelby and Joe Silva, Stevenson realized that gaining weight wasn’t the best thing to do. Fighting at heavier weight classes proved to be the wrong direction to go and fattening up to fight bigger guys wouldn’t have done him as well as dropping to featherweight.

“I was walking around about a buck seventy-five when I had talked to Sean (Shelby) and Joe (Silva) about taking a fight at 45,” he said. “And now, I think that was a great idea (to) not let myself balloon up.”

Trimmed down and ready to get back on the winning track, Joe Stevenson is prepared to step in the Octagon at UFC on Versus 4 this Sunday. No day of rest for him. It’s time take on some stiff competition at featherweight and that begins with Javier Vasquez on June 26.

“These guys are quick, dangerous and everyone is a threat at this weight.”

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Erik Fontanez is a staff writer for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@Erik_Fontanez on Twitter or e-mail Erik a question or comment.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Georges St-Pierre Talks UFC Return, Dana White and Possible Comeback Opponents

  • 28 days ago
  • 110 views

Georges St-Pierre has reaffirmed his intention to make a full return to MMA and has hit back at suggestions from UFC President Dana White that he doesn’t have the desire to fight. The 35-year-old has read news >>

#TBT Video: Outgoing UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva on Ripped 23-Year-Old Georges St-Pierre

  • 27 days ago
  • 54 views

In this #ThrowbackThursday video, outgoing UFC matchmaker Joe Silva talks about then-23-year-old Georges St-Pierre before his fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 50. read news >>

Josh Barnett: Fighting Friends and the Key to Being a Complete Fighter (Flashback Video)

  • 25 days ago
  • 18 views

Josh Barnett - Sengoku 2In this flashback video, Josh Barnett talks about fighting friends and what it takes to be a complete fighter. read news >>

Alistair Overeem Talks Legacy while Taking Taunts from Miocic Fan (UFC 203 Video)

  • 21 days ago
  • 38 views

Alistair Overeem talked about his upcoming fight with Stipe Miocic as a barrage of Miocic fans heckled him during his UFC 203 open workout media scrum. read news >>

CM Punk: MMA is a Vacation (UFC 203 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 9 views

CM Punk talks about his journey into MMA before his first fight at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 in Cleveland. read news >>

From getting 'armlock king' title to headlining in Brazil, Gilbert Burns talks his long list of UFC goals

  • 6 days ago
  • 1 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – Say what you want about Gilbert Burns, but you can't question the man’s ambition. Set to face fellow countryman Michel Prazeres on this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 95, Burns doesn’t read news >>

Khabib Nurmagomedov Talks Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez UFC 205 Fight Booking

  • 2 days ago
  • 39 views

UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov has branded the organisation a "freak show" after the confirmation that featherweight champion Conor McGregor would face lightweight counterpart Eddie Alvarez at UFC 2 read news >>

UFC Unfiltered: Dana White talks UFC 205

  • 2 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC President Dana White joins Jim and Matt in studio for the whole show to discuss UFC 205 matchmaking, the results from UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Lansberg, Roy Nelson kicking Big John McCarthy, a read news >>

Nate Diaz Talks Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor, Dana White Ahead of UFC 205

  • a day ago
  • 298 views

UFC lightweight contender Nate Diaz has called out president Dana White, as well as lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and featherweight king Conor McGregor following the announcement the two will me read news >>

'Jacare' Souza talks 'peacock' Rockhold, 'liar' Bisping and the elusive UFC title shot

  • a day ago
  • 12 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – While he believes Luke Rockhold had been ducking their rematch for years, Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza still holds a lot of respect for his confident UFC Fight Night 101 opponent. As for read news >>