Joe Stevenson came into the fight on thin ice, having lost two previous bouts to Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, and he was in danger of being cut by the UFC if he lost to Nate Diaz as well. He pulled out the win.
The first round began and Stevenson tried to touch gloves and Diaz slapped his hand away. They circled, Stevenson shot and got the single, Diaz was working a guillotine. Diaz was cranking it tight as he could. Stevenson popped out posturing after a moment and he dodged some upkicks standing over him. Four twenty. Stevenson landed a few right hands but not much behind them and he came down to half-guard. Four minutes. Stevenson landed some right hands. Diaz turned and gave up his side back mount. He landed another right hand in under. He had the crucifix from there. Three fifteen. 'Pick those wisely, Joe,' Steve warned him. Stevenson was controlling both arms now, with his legs and hand. Three minutes. Diaz was trying to stand now and he had. Weird position here. Diaz rolled him in a really weird position landing hammerfists with both arms trapped for Diaz. Like... just a really weird position. He had Diaz's leg trapped as well. Diaz turned on top to guard. Stevenson grabbed a tight guillotine from there. He had it deep. Two minutes. That was tight. Rogan said Nate was going to go to sleep. Stevenson rolled on to mount with it and let it go and Diaz retained guard. One thirty. Stevenson postured up there. One twenty. Diaz gave up the side back mount again. They stood to the clinch and Stevenson worked for a double. He got an excellent roll takedown on top to guard once more. One minute. Diaz worked for another guillotine and Stevenson avoided posturing up. He passed to side control and stood out and they stood to the clinch. Twenty-five. Diaz landed a knee to the head. Another. Another. Fifteen. Diaz went to one knee. Stevenson kneed the hip and another. Another as the first round ended. Diaz raised his hands. Greg Jackson in the corner told Stevenson that it was a beautiful round. Diaz's corner said 'give me something to blow'. O.o The second round began and they touched gloves. Stevenson landed an inside leg kick. Diaz was doing weird things with his hands. Stevenson shot and got another takedown, Diaz tried for another takedown and rolled on top to mount and then a very odd position like sitting on Stevenson's face. Four twenty. Stevenson turtled up. Four ten. Diaz pulled half-guard with another guillotine attempt. They scrambled and stood to the clinch with four minutes, Stevenson landed a knee to the face, Diaz went to one knee and ate another to the body, and another and another. Another. Three thirty-five remaining. Another to the leg and another. Diaz stood eating another to the face to the clinch and ate another to the face. Diaz tried for a kimura and Stevenson came on top to side control pulling away from another kimura. Stevenson was trying to mount and Diaz defended to half-guard with three minutes remaining. Diaz retained guard and Stevenson postured up. Stevenson landed a good left hand. Two thirty-five. Diaz postured up with a long triangle, Stevenson postured up even more and turtled Diaz up. Stevenson kneed the body. Diaz stood and Stevenson had the standing back and he turned to the clinch with two minutes. Stevenson landed a knee to the leg. Stevenson kneed the leg again. One thirty-five. Diaz was holding the fence without a warning. Diaz looked for a kimura from there. One fifteen. Again without warning, holding the fence. Stevenson worked for a single. Stevenson dodged a switch and landed on top in half-guard with one minute. Stevenson postured up. Forty remained. Diaz landed some hammerfists from the bottom. Diaz looked for an armbar from there. Fifteen remained. Diaz turned and tried to stand to the clinch, Stevenson looked for a high single. Diaz was defending it. The second round ended. The third round began. Diaz shook his head as Stevenson tried to touch gloves. Stevenson shot for the single and Diaz was defending it and he looked for a kimura. Stevenson got a good roll takedown and Diaz was trying to stand once more and avoiding the single, he was half-standing. He landed some hammerfists in under. Four twenty. Diaz stood to the clinch looking for that kimura. Diaz said 'come on, Joe, come on.' Stevenson turned and had the back. Four minutes. Diaz got a good trip throw on top to side control and Stevenson regained half-guard backwards really with Diaz on top with his back there. Diaz turned on top to the guard. Three thirty. Diaz landed some body shots. He really needs to do something with this position. Three fifteen. Diaz stood andc ame down to side control and turtled Stevenson up with three minutes. He dropped down for an arm-in guillotine and turned on top to almost half-guard, he turned and almost had the back and Stevenson stood to the clinch. The fans loved the ground battle. Two thirty-five. Stevenson secured a double putting Diaz on his ass. Diaz was trying to stand to the clinch. Stevenson kneed the body and again and again. Again. And again. Two minutes with another knee. 'Come on, Joe, come on man!' Diaz said. Stevenson landed another pair of knees in reply, and also said 'Stand back up then!' ' 'Come on, Joe, get to work, bitch,' Diaz said. 'Get off your knee!' Stevenson replied. 'Come on, motherfucker!' Diaz said. Stevenson replied 'Get up, step off your knee!' They stood fully to the clinch with Stevenson landing a knee to the head. One twenty-five. Diaz landed some hammerfists inside as Stevenson worked for a single-leg. 'Come on, man,' Diaz said to Stevenson. One minute. Stevenson backed off breaking the clinch. Fifty. Diaz landed a jab and stuffed a takedown. They clinched and Diaz enarly had a throw, Stevenson stood trying a single and Diaz shook hi off. Stevenson shot for the single and Stevenson got stuffed. Twenty. Stevenson shot for the single, Diaz defended and stepped off. Stevenson shot exhausted for a single, Diaz stuffed it and then stuffed another. They shook hands and hugged. Stevenson had the unanimous decision win. Wow his cauliflower ear is burst though, damn that's a massive cauliflower ear.