Joseph Benavidez needed to find his desire to compete again.
On UFC Fight Island, Benavidez fought Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant flyweight title. In the lead-up to the event, Benavidez admitted it would be his final title shot, and unfortunately for the legend, it did not go his way as he suffered a first-round submission loss.
The loss was heartbreaking for Benavidez and after the fight, he said he had to rediscover his love for the sport. He easily could’ve walked away from the sport, but instead, he got back into training and will fight Askar Askarov at UFC 259.
“I think after my last title fight I came to the acceptance that was probably my last title fight,” Benavidez said during a virtual media day (via Sherdog). “That’s kind of what I put in my mind. I had some fight offers earlier, and I wasn’t loving it.
“Then when I finally decided this was a good timeframe I want to fight in, and take a good break and fall back in love with training and the sport …. What’s the next best thing? I’m still wanting to fight the best in the world,” Benavidez added. “That was the fight that motivated me for that reason. I’ve always been here, even in between title fights, fighting the best guys.”
Although Joseph Benavidez believes he fought for the title for the final time, he could very well just win his way back to the top.
Do you think Joseph Benavidez will beat Askar Askarov?