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Joe Stevenson vs Nate Diaz TUF 9 Finale bout possible for June 20 can confirm that former TUF winners Joe Stevenson (29-10) and Nate Diaz (10-3) have agreed to battle in a lightweight clash at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 Finale, as part of the Spike TV special from "The Pearl" at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 20.

"Daddy" — who was the TUF 2 welterweight winner — is in a rare slump, losing back-to-back bouts. However, those two losses have come to current division number one contender Kenny "KenFlo" Florian as well as the new-look Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez in a close unanimous decision scrap.

That’s some stiff competition.

The newly-minted Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will begin his climb back to the top at the TUF 9 Finale. And a win over a rising star and grappling talent like Diaz will go a long way toward getting him where he wants to be sooner rather than later.

In fact, the same goes for both fighters.

Diaz has been nothing short of brilliant inside the cage since winning it all on TUF 5, stopping four out of five opponents before a razor-thin split decision loss to the lightweight cardio machine known as Clay Guida that earned both him and "The Carpenter" a $65,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus.

It was his first loss inside the Octagon in six attempts since his debut at the June 2007 TUF 5 Finale and temporarily derailed his chances at a division title shot, which could have possibly been within reach with a few more impressive wins.

Still, Diaz’s mixed martial arts skills are well beyond his 23 years on this planet — he appears to get better and better each time out. How well he rebounds against Stevenson will say a lot about his future inside the Octagon.

TUF 9 will debut on April 1 and feature the lightweight and welterweight finales for the upcoming ninth season of TUF with coach Dan Henderson leading a US team against coach Michael Bisping and his British squad. The finalists from those divisions will also be featured on the televised Spike TV main card on June 20.

For more on TUF 9 click here.

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