It was the fight that many pegged as the inaugural UFC flyweight title bout almost 2 years ago, but finally at UFC 156 Joseph Benavidez met Ian McCall at 125lbs.
Prior to his UFC debut, Ian McCall reigned the flyweight division as the Tachi Palace Fights champion, but he was regularly compared to Joseph Benavidez, who was a bantamweight contender but naturally a 125lb fighter.
The two met as the lead off fight at UFC 156 and did not disappoint with their respective performances.
Benavidez set the tone early with pinpoint accuracy and quick punches, but McCall battled back in the 2nd round taking the fight to the ground, while working to take his opponent’s back and control him on the mat.
The third round made the difference with Benavidez regaining the upper hand with faster power shots, keeping ahead of McCall with more effective striking throughout the five minute session.
The judges saw it that way as well giving Benavidez a 29-28 sccorecard across the board, putting the former title contender back on the path to another shot at the belt.
“I think it went great, I think the judges got it right, which is awesome,” Benavidez said. “I’m never satisfied, if I go in for another title shot I’d like to be even better than this one.”
In what is still a fairly shallow talent pool at 125lbs in the UFC, Benavidez may only be another fight away from a potential rematch with champion Demetrious Johnson.