Friday, January 21, 2022

Joseph Benavidez Hints That He Still Hopes To Become UFC Champion

Joseph Benavidez has hinted that he will be attempting to make another run at UFC gold. 

Joseph Benavidez has had four opportunities to become a UFC champion, and he has come up short each time. Notwithstanding his failures, Joseph Benavidez has also carried with him plenty of fortunes throughout his illustrious career. As someone who has competed under the Zuffa umbrella for over a decade, Benavidez has enjoyed successes and has also become long-familiar with competing against the very best in the world. This trend will continue when he locks up with the #3-ranked flyweight in the world at UFC 259: Askar Askarov.

“This guy looks like a future contender, future champion and that’s the kind of guys I want to fight,” Benavidez said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I fought in July and I’m fighting in March. I took that time off but I was offered fights a few months before the year [was over] but they weren’t the fights that intrigued me. Because like I’ve said, I just want to fight the best. The belt is the belt but there’s guys who are the best and they’re at the top.”

Joseph Benavidez Still Competes To Be The Best

Following Joseph Benavidez’s most recent loss in a title fight at UFC Fight Night 172 against Deiveson Figueiredo, he seemed to have all but given up on the idea of competing for the title again. At the post-fight press conference, he stated, “I’m not going out like that. Nothing’s guaranteed in this sport for sure, but I’m not going to get another title shot and I’m not going to go out on that, so I just want to go out with another fight and after that there’s nothing else for me to do”

But now hours away from his first fight since this devastating loss, Benavidez is again looking to compete against the very best the division has to offer, including in a world title opportunity. 

“What I’ve done my whole career is go after this title and be so close to it. I’ve said many times that’s my goal,” Benavidez said. “Once I know I can’t be the best, there’s not really a point for me to fight.

UFC Fight Island 2 results: Deiveson Figueiredo puts on savage performance,  chokes out Joseph Benavidez to become UFC flyweight champion - MMA Fighting
Joseph Benavidez Loses to Deiveson Figueiredo by Technical Submission. Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

“Some people do it for this, some people do it for that but I don’t do it to be the 15th best in the world. I can still prove I’m one of the best after even these last two fights where I’m not going to be ‘the best’ and I can still go fight at the top with the best and that’s what I want to do.”

UFC 259 will take place from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. The early prelims will begin at 6 PM ET on ESPN+, the ESPN preliminary card begins at 8 PM ET, and the main card kicks off at 10 PM ET and will stream exclusively on ESPN+. Below, you can find the full card and weigh-in results.

Do you believe Joseph Benavidez can still become a UFC world champion?

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