While not yet officially announced by the organization, the live finale for "The Ultimate Fighter 9" has added a lightweight showdown between former "TUF" champions Nate Diaz (10-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Joe Stevenson (29-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC).
MMAMadness first reported the that the pair had verbally agreed to the contest, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) has since learned from sources close to the bout that contracts for the fight have been signed.
The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale is scheduled for June 20 at the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Stevenson has endured a tough 1-3 stretch while facing some of the lightweight division's top talent. The winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 2," Stevenson was submitted by current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn in January 2008 and again by current no. 1 contender Kenny Florian in November 2008.
Stevenson last fought in a unanimous decision loss to Diego Sanchez in the "TUF 1" champion's first bout at 155 pounds.
Diaz will also be looking to bounce back from a loss. The "TUF 5" winner dropped a split decision to Clay Guida at UFC 94 in January. Prior to the defeat, Diaz had won five straight bouts for the organization, including four by submission.