Well before the Ultimate Fighting Championship officially announced the flyweight division, talk centered primarily on one fighter who had been waiting for a long time for the 125-pound weight class to arrive in the Octagon… Joseph Benavidez.
The Team Alpha Male product has lost only twice in his career, both times to current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. Seeing as Cruz still holds the belt, and Benavidez is a bit on the smaller side of the 135-pound class, when the UFC decided to add flyweights, it was only natural that speculation centered on Benavidez being the front-runner at 125 pounds.
It’s weight that Benavidez holds well on his shoulders, having defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani in the semifinal round of the UFC flyweight tournament.
“It’s nice that my peers or anyone that follows the sport thinks that about me. I don’t really feel pressured by it,” Benavidez told MMAWeekly.com recently. “I get a little more motivated, more inspired.
“That’s why I work so hard, to be at the top. But it doesn’t really mean anything until I go out there and actually do it myself, and end up on top. Waiting for that day.”
He is currently waiting to find out whom he will face for the inaugural UFC flyweight belt. Ian McCall and Demetrious Johnson were supposed to have determined his opponent on the same night that Benavidez fought Urushitani, but the scorecards for their bout were mishandled, so the other two semifinalists will go at it again at UFC on FX 3 on June 8 in Florida.
That’s all right by Benavidez, “The UFC belt is worth waiting for.”
Check out James Mills’ full video interview with Joseph Benavidez for MMAWeekly.com below…
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