With 16 bouts inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, Joe Stevenson is among one of the most experienced combatants taking part in the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) appropriately dubbed “Redemption,” which will see former UFC fighters duke it out for another contract with the promotion.
It’s been a long and tough road back for “Daddy,” who tells MMA Weekly that alcoholism was one of the battles he’s been fighting throughout his life and combat sports career. And now that he’s sober, he’s feeling better and hopes it keeps reflecting in his fighting.
“Alcoholism was a big part of my life. My parents drank, my grandpa was a millionaire, three times, and he lost it. And that was done with alcoholism, he ran machine shops in Michigan. My father was a genius, and let the bottle stop him. I got to the top of UFC and I continued to drink and not care. Now, being older, being 34 I don’t think people realize how young I was when I did this before because of all my experience. So now, not only are you not too old, but you’re a little bit wiser. We learn from our mistakes.”
For Stevenson, being a father helped him with his recovery, as he says he “went all in for them” when discussing trying to set a positive example for his kids.
Joe won season two of TUF way back 2005, and went on to amass an 8-8 record inside the eight-walled cage, including a win over Nate Diaz. Stevenson even worked his way up to a title shot, but was ultimately submitted by BJ Penn at UFC 80 in 2008.
Stevenson finished his UFC career on a four-fight losing streak before getting his walking papers in 2011. He’s competed only four times since then, collecting a 2-2 record on the regional circuit before getting the call to join the latest season of TUF.
To see the full roster for TUF 25: “Redemption” — which premieres Weds., April 19, 2017 at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 — click here.
Source:: mma mania