Stevenson vs. Fisher

The main card of UFC 104 will feature a lightweight bout between two top contenders when Joe Stevenson faces Spencer Fisher.

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Stevenson enters the fight as the favorite with a betting line of -220 with Fisher given a line of +170 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this fight, which will take place from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. at 10PM ET on pay-per-view.
Joe Stevenson (35-10):
Strengths
: Stevenson is a great wrestler that has used that to control fights. Stevenson has a short but compact body that tends to make him stronger than his opponents. On the ground, Stevenson has good striking from within the guard, but his greatest weapon is his submission skills, especially the guillotine choke. In his career, Stevenson has won fight fights, three in the UFC, by guillotine choke and if he locks it on Fisher, it will likely end the fight.
Weaknesses: Stevenson has become somewhat of a gate keeper in the lightweight division, as he has beaten some strong contender, but has not been able to beat an elite-level fighter. In his only title fight, Stevenson was dominated by B.J. Penn, and then Stevenson followed that up with convincing losses to Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez. In his last fight, Stevenson switched things up and started training with Greg Jackson and got himself a win over Nate Diaz to get back into contender status. Stevenson needs to continue to improve his boxing to become a better all-around fighter.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Nate Diaz at Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20, 2009

Unanimous decision loss to Diego Sanchez at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009

First round submission loss to Kenny Florian at UFC 91 on Nov. 15, 2008

Second round submission win over Gleison Tibau at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008

Second round submission loss to B.J. Penn at UFC 80 on Jan. 19, 2008
 
Spencer Fisher (24-4):
Strengths: Fisher is a fighter that doesn’t really excel in any one area but also is not bad in any area either. Fisher has a nice total package and always puts on exciting fights and he pushes the pace from the opening bell. Fisher’s fighting style combines the wrestling skills he has learned from Pat Miletich and his boxing skills that he learned from Jens Pulver. Fisher has the ability to knockout his opponent, but his striking is not quite refined enough to be an elite-level striker.
Weaknesses: Like Stevenson, Fisher doesn’t have a win over an elite-level fighter. Fisher has been out-classed by guys like Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca and in his last fight, Fisher won a debatable decision over Caol Uno. Fisher’s biggest win was a submission win over Thiago Alves back in 2005 when Alves was still pretty green to the UFC. Fisher needs to really show a great overall package, or really display some improved striking in this fight for people to believe he can be a lightweight title contender. At 33-years-old, this may be Fisher’s last chance to make a title run, so this fight could make-or-break his career.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Caol Uno at UFC 99 on June 13, 2009

Third round submission win over Shannon Gugerty at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens at Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on June 21, 2008

Unanimous decision loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 78 on Nov. 17, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Sam Stout at UFC Fight Night 10 on June 12, 2007
 
Who will win: Stevenson seems to be the stronger overall fighter in this one, but Fisher has the better chance to end the fight on his feet. Fisher could land a knockout blow, but ultimately, I think Stevenson will have the better fight strategy with Jackson in his corner and show improved skills to get the decision win over Fisher. Stevenson has been in bigger fights and beaten better opponents than Fisher, who just hasn’t evolved with time.
Additional Line: Over/Under 11.5 minutes for fight length. Over (-165) Under (+125).
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Posted: 10/22/09 12:13PM ET

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