When Joseph Benavidez bought his house in Sacramento, Calif., a couple of years ago, he purchased all the necessary accessories.
He filled rooms with beds, dressers, couches and coffee tables, but if there was one centerpiece to the house that he left virtually empty, it was the mantle in the living room.
There, Benavidez placed only one thing, a Polaroid picture of a UFC championship belt.
It was a constant reminder before every practice, after every hard training session, and every time he walked through his house that his dream had not yet been realized.
The point of the picture is to help Benavidez focus on his ultimate goal of becoming champion. He hopes to take down the Polaroid picture after Saturday night when he faces Demetrious Johnson for the first ever UFC flyweight title at UFC 152.
“I’m just waiting till I get the real one,” Benavidez told MMAWeekly Radio about taking down his “championship” picture.
To say that Benavidez is obsessed with being a champion might be an understatement. He fully admits that when he wakes up in the morning it’s generally the first thing on his mind, and it’s the last thing he thinks about before heading to sleep.
“I can’t even imagine the actual feeling of it happening because just thinking about it, I feel crazy, so I’m always visualizing. It’s more like, when am I not visualizing about it? When am I distracted enough to actually not be thinking about the title?” Benavidez stated.
The title is all Benavidez cares about, so it didn’t rattle him one bit when he went from main event to co-main event after UFC 151 was cancelled and the light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort shifted into the headline spot on the card.
It’s all about the title for Joseph Benavidez, so whether he’s the first fight of the night or the last, getting the gold is all that matters.
“For me, I only look at it as a positive. There’s really no negative that comes out of it. When I started this sport, my dream and my goal was to be the UFC champion, it wasn’t to be a UFC main event. You don’t go write your goals down and go, ‘I want to be the main event,’” said Benavidez.
“You write your goals down and you write, ‘I want to be champion; I want to be the best.’ That’s not going to change, so what do I have to complain about?”
Benavidez sees the change on the card as an opportunity.
Not only an opportunity to win his first UFC title, but also a chance for some fans to learn who he is maybe for the first time. It’s very much like the Ultimate Fighter season 1 finale when all anybody could talk about after the show was the epic battle between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, but in reality the main event that night was Rich Franklin vs. Ken Shamrock.
“I know a lot of guys in the UFC don’t necessarily know Benavidez and Johnson, but they will. It’s all going to be the same in a few years or whenever they do get to see us. It’s almost better, we get to cheat our way in, I guess you could say,” Benavidez commented.
“One card that comes to mind is like (Griffin vs. Bonnar) or (Jose) Aldo vs. Mark Hominick. They may not have been able to sell a card, but afterwards everyone said that was such a great fight, so I’m definitely looking to go in there and still steal the show.”
Click here to listen to Joseph Benavidez’s full interview from MMAWeekly Radio.
It ain’t easy being Joseph Benavidez these days, at least in terms of trying to find someone to stand across from him for a fight.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos read news >>
Ben Nguyen didn’t have to wait long to get a new opponent after Joseph Benavidez announced Wednesday he was out of their scheduled flyweight bout at UFC Fight Night 110.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
James Vick was upset he didn’t get a performance bonus for knocking out Marco Polo Reyes at UFC 211. So he took his complaint directly to UFC brass.Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC read news >>
Joseph Benavidez today announced he has suffered an undisclosed injury, which has forced him to withdraw from his fight against Ben Nguyen at UFC Fight Night 110.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
The UFC returns to Sweden this weekend for UFC Fight Night 109, featuring a pair of former light heavyweight title challengers at the top of the card. check out our picks for the main card inside. Fi read news >>
Stream or download Friday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with Joseph Benavidez and Megan Olivi.Filed under: News, Radio, UFC read news >>
STOCKHOLM – Volkan Oezdemir wasn’t sure what his future would hold after he stunned former UFC title contender Ovince Saint Preux on short notice in his UFC debut. Filed under: Featured Videos, News, read news >>
A boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor is a long way from happening, but Dana White says McGregor will make you a believer. read news >>
Building the UFC’s yearly event schedule is a complicated task. However, according to UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content Joe Carr, Europe has become an increasingly important cons read news >>
Tickets to UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: STRUVE vs. VOLKOV on sale Friday, July 21 read news >>