Vazquez Respects Stevenson, But Doesn’t Think He’s Evolved Much


Javier Vazquez (above) will face Joe Stevenson at UFC Live 4. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


Javier Vazquez and Joe Stevenson have known each other a long time.

Both are veterans of the Southern California MMA circuit. Both were competing in King of the Cage earlier in the decade.

Now they’re finally scheduled to fight June 26 in Pittsburgh at UFC Live 4.

“Joe and I are friends,” Vazquez said recently on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “Plus he was fighting up a weight. I wasn’t really concerned about him dropping down, but now that he did -- a lot of these lightweights think that the grass is greener on the other side at featherweight. I think some of them are going to find out that we’re just as tough as the guys at 155. We just happen to weigh a little bit less.”

A winner of the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Stevenson eventually earned a lightweight title shot but lost to B.J. Penn. He is moving to 145 pounds after losing three straight at 155. Vazquez has followed his career.

“I’ve watched Joe fight for years and I haven’t seen him evolve a whole lot,” Vazquez said. “I think he’s a good fighter. I think he’s a great guy, but let’s be honest. He hasn’t really evolved that much in the three years he’s been in the UFC. He’s the same fighter. Sometimes he comes in there in a little bit better shape than others. That’s about it.”

Stevenson’s submission game is formidable, though. Vazquez acknowledged that he will have to be cautious of his opponent’s ability to finish.

“There’s no question I respect his submission skills,” Vazquez said. “I think he’s got good leg locks. I think he’s got very good elbows and I think he’s got good ground-and-pound. I think he’s a good fighter and stylistically, he’s a very tough fight for me, but I think I’m a little bit better in every aspect of the game.”

However, Stevenson is training with a camp that knows Vazquez’s game well. In fact, he’s been training with Millennia, Vazquez’s former gym.

“I can’t control what they do,” Vazquez said. “As far as bad blood, it doesn’t surprise me. If I were him, I’d probably go there too. They were my teammates for 12 years. That’s probably his best bet. The only problem is, I don’t think they have anybody there that can beat me. So I don’t think him being there is going to do him any good.”

Vazquez also believes he knows his former camp as well as they know him.

“I know exactly what they’re telling him,” he said. “I know exactly what he’s working on. … From the time I left that gym, I’m a much better fighter. I’m a much more well-rounded mixed martial artist, and my conditioning is much better. Any game plan that they can come up with, I’m going to nullify it.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:00:03).

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

Related News

  • 25 days ago
  • 13 views

When you're intently focused or on a mission or devoted to a cause, you simply don't have time for many distractions. That's the position UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald, 25, finds himself in today. read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 29 views

So, it's time to find out who Joe Soto is, because he's about to be fighting Renan Barao. So, if you're like most MMA fans,you're here because you just found out Renan Barao is out of UFC 177. In his read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 3 views

With UFC 177 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Joe Silva’s (and Sean Shelby’s) shoes, and play UFC matchmaker.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 3 views

For a very long time, fans of the combative sports have been waiting (or even dying) for the UFC to go to Mexico. The reasoning is simple: Mexico is home to some of the greatest fighters in the world read news >>

  • 15 days ago
  • 1 views

After a long hiatus, the all-women's promotion Invicta FC is back. This time, though, they're being broadcast on UFC's Fight Pass channel. They're leading their new distribution effort with an atomwe read news >>

  • 15 days ago
  • 12 views

With UFC Fight Night 50 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Joe Silva’s (and Sean Shelby’s) shoes, and play UFC matchmaker.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

  • 11 days ago
  • 6 views

It has been a long time since a season of The Ultimate Fighter felt like a big deal. I am not telling you anything you don't know. This is not a revelation. The Ultimate Fighter has been stuck on "no read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 52 views

It didn’t take long for the feud between Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping to heat up at Wednesday night’s UFC Fight Night 55 press conference in Sydney, Australia. The UFC’s managing director for op read news >>

  • a day ago
  • 7 views

With UFC Fight Night 52 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Joe Silva’s (and Sean Shelby’s) shoes, and play UFC matchmaker.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>