Longtime Veteran, Former No. 1 Contender Joe Stevenson Cut From UFC

PHILADELPHIA -- Following four straight losses, longtime UFC veteran Joe Stevenson has been cut from the promotion, MMA Fighting has learned.

The move was expected following the losing streak, but had not yet been confirmed. A high-ranking UFC source confirmed it on Thursday, however.

After debuting in the UFC during season two of The Ultimate Fighter, Stevenson won five of his first six bouts and rose to become the No. 1 contender in the UFC's lightweight division. At UFC 80, he lost to BJ Penn via rear naked choke submission, however.

After that, his career stalled out a bit, as he went 3-6 in his last nine UFC fights before being released. Overall, Stevenson is 31-14 in his career, and he went 8-8 in 16 UFC fights dating back to November 2005.

In his last fight, termed a "must-win" at the time, he dropped to the featherweight division in hopes of reviving his career, but lost in a unanimous decision to Javier Vazquez at the UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry event.

Still just 29 years old, Stevenson holds career wins over big names like Melvin Guillard, Kurt Pellegrino, Nate Diaz and Yves Edwards. His last win came at UFC 104 in October 2009, when he earned a decision over Spencer Fisher.

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