UFC flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez is no stranger to spectacular finishes, but he found his UFC on FOX 7 stoppage of Darren Uyenoyama particularly satisfying.
“Body shots just feel so great to knock someone out with,” Benavidez told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “Everyone wants that, and I’ve always wanted it.”
Benavidez’s win came in spectacular fashion as jiu-jitsu stylist Uyenoyama (8-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) found it impossible to work the action to the floor. Instead, Benavidez (18-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) controlled the pace and positioning of the fight while dominating his opponent with pinpoint standup attacks.
Uyenoyama absorbed much of the damage, but when Benavidez began to attack the body, the end came quickly after. A kick to the ribs saw Uyenoyama double over, and a punch to the liver finished him off with 10 seconds left in the second round.
Benavidez admitted that as twisted as it may sound, he took pleasure in the result.
“I think making him feel the pain is what feels so good,” Benavidez said. “If you knock someone out, yeah you feel awesome, but they don’t feel anything. They got knocked out, and they wake up like, ‘Oh, dang. He hit me in the chin,’ and it’s like they didn’t feel anything. But when you hit someone in the body and they go down, they hurt, and they hurt for a while. It’s some of the worst pain, and you have to sit there conscious and go through the pain. That’s kind of cool.”
And to think, Benavidez generally seems like a pretty nice guy.
With the win over Uyenoyama, the 28-year-old Team Alpha Male product improves to 6-1 in his past seven fights. The lone loss in that span was a split-decision result against Demetrious Johnson for the UFC’s inaguaral flyweight title. Fans have called for a rematch, and Benavidez said he’s more than open to that possibility. But he insists he’s also not pressing the issue since the loss to “Mighty Mouse” changed his perspective.
“When it comes down to it, yes, I’m always ready for a title shot,” Benavidez said. “If I get a title shot, I’m ready, and I think I can compete. I think I can win, and I’m more than happy to do it. For me, yes it’s my goal – and it’s my end goal – but that was the thing with the last fight. I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s finally here. This is life or death. There’s nothing else.’ It just made me a different person. It just took over everything.
“I’m really just trying to approach it as every fight is a fight. The title fight will be there. When I get there, when I make it, it will still just be another fight. If I don’t, then I don’t deserve to get there. If I do, I do, but just trying not to put so much emphasis on it. I think it just goes into all the stuff I’ve learned from losing the title fight, which is, ‘Hey, man, it’s not life or death.’”
That new approach has fueled Benavidez to a pair of wins in 2013, and while Johnson’s immediate fighting future is still unclear as he recovers from surgery, Benavidez could certainly be in the discussion for another shot at a UFC title.
But Benavidez, who’s ranked No. 2 behind Johnson in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA flyweight rankings, said he’ll just take whatever comes.
“I’m going to take some time off, I’m sure, but I loved it going from one to the other,” Benavidez said. “The reason they call me the ‘Beefcake’ is because I get out of control if I’m not fighting. I have a terrible diet. My cupboard and my fridge, everything is like totally different from when I’m in fight camp. You just feel better when you have something to work toward.”
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