Joe Stevenson’s original medical suspension has been extended after the Nevada State Athletic Commission learned the fighter had suffered a broken nose in his UFC 74 fight with Kurt Pellegrino. UFCjunkie.com
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) today confirmed the extension with a representative from the NSAC.
Stevenson, who scored a unanimous-decision victory in the televised contest, originally thought he suffered a broken jaw in the bout. However, after a trip to the hospital, Stevenson learned he instead had a broken nose.
“The Ultimate Fighter 2” winner, who has since emerged as a top UFC lightweight contender, was originally suspended until Sept. 25 with no contact until Sept. 16 for precautionary reasons after a post-fight examination. However, after getting a report from the hospital, the NSAC now requires Stevenson to have his broken nose cleared by a ear-nose-and-throat (ENT) doctor. Otherwise, his suspension runs until Feb. 22. If cleared, Stevenson can compete no sooner that Sept. 25, and no contact is allowed until Sept. 16.
With Saturday’s victory, Stevenson may have earned a shot at the title. However, his medical suspension could affect the timing of the potential bout.
After his UFC 73 victory over Hermes Franca, current champ Sean Sherk tested positive for elevated testosterone levels and nandrolone, an anabolic steroid. Sherk is appealing the one-year suspension that was handed down by the California State Athletic Commission. However, if the appeal is denied, UFC President Dana White says he’ll strip Sherk of the title.
Sherk was originally set to face B.J. Penn at UFC 78 in November. On Friday, White said that Penn will be next in line for a title shot regardless of Sherk’s situation. However, if Sherk is indeed suspended, Stevenson — whose posted a 5-1 record in the UFC — could be Penn’s opponent for the vacant title.
If suspended until Sept. 25 (or beyond), though, Stevenson may not have ample time to prepare for UFC 78’s Nov. 17 fight date. That could make an alternate date or — unfortunately for Stevenson — an alternate opponent possible.