Joe Stevenson certainly didn't act like a guy with his back against the wall. After three straight losses forced a drop to featherweight, Stevenson came out and fought uninspired while dropping a decision to Javier Vazquez. After escaping an armbar attempt in the first, Vazquez controlled the rest of the first and all of the second with takedowns and good use of a jab. Vazquez was tired in the third, but Stevenson did little to take advantage. Javier picked up a 30-27, 20-27, 29-28 decision and Stevenson is likely heading out the door.
The first round wasn't exactly action-packed. Vazquez got a very quick takedown, but ended up in an inverted armbar. Stevenson had it clamped on and Vasquez was careful with his escape, so they sat in that position for closeto a minute. When Vazquez finally got out, he fell to the side for a very quick armbar attempt that failed. He managed to get on top for a while before a referee restart. After another takedown by Javier, the last minute of the round was spent with Vazquez in half-guard, working unsuccessfully to pass.
Vazquez used his jab effectively for a while in the second and landed a few straight lefts. Stevenson looked for a single leg takedown but Vazquez locked on a guillotine. Stevenson escaped and continued to push Javier against the cage, but was tripped down by Vazquez, who stayed on top for most of the rest of the round. Even after they got back up, Joe couldn't land much of anything.
That continued on into the third. Despite Vazquez showing major signs of exhaustion, Stevenson threw little and missed with what he did throw. He landed a few leg kicks that wobbled Vazquez, but didn't show any killer instinct. An uneventful round came to an end, and the judges gave it to Vazquez.
Stevenson has fallen on hard times of late, dropping three fights in a row. This forced a drop to featherweight, and he made his 145 lb. debut tonight. Vazquez, the son-in-law of Rorion Gracie, started out with Zuffa in the WEC where he went 2-3. His last bout was a decision loss to Chad Mendes at WEC 52. This was his first fight in the UFC, despite a 13-year MMA career.