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Joe 'Daddy' Stevenson Loses to Dakota Cochrane in Post-UFC Return

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Former UFC lightweight contender Joe "Daddy" Stevenson returned to the cage last night in Kearney, Nebraska. It was his first fight in over one year, since his loss to Javier Vazquez at a UFC show sent him out of the promotion, and it didn't go so well.

Facing recent TUF: Live contestant Dakota Cochrane, Stevenson looked sluggish and out of rhythm, and Cochrane looked motivated and sharp. The end result was a submission victory for Cochrane at an event called RFA 3.

The end came just 1:04 into the second round, shortly after Cochrane floored Stevenson with a knee to the body. He followed up on the ground and eventually took Stevenson's back and finished him with a rear naked choke.

The defeat marked five straight for Stevenson, who is now 31-15.

Though he is just two weeks past his 30th birthday, Stevenson has a career that stretches back to 1999, when he was just 17 years old. At one point, he was clearly one of the best lightweights in MMA, and he got to a lightweight championship opportunity in 2008, when he faced B.J. Penn at UFC 80.

That fight, however, was fairly one-sided, with Penn bloodying Stevenson, and in a memorably gory image that sent blood squirting from Stevenson's head, choked him out in the second round. Since that night, Stevenson has won only three of 10 fights.

Meanwhile, the victory gave Cochrane his first win after a two-fight losing streak, making him 12-3.