If reports of the potential doom of the flyweight division are true, you would never know it by listening to former flyweight title challenger and #3 ranked Joseph Benavidez. Originally scheduled to face Ray Borg this weekend at UFC Fight Night 139, Benavidez will no long be able to participate on the card after Ray Borg pulled out of the fight. But Benavidez remains excited about the future of the flyweight division and his future alongside it:
“I haven’t heard anything about [the division going away],” Benavidez told MMAWeekly. “I look at what I can control and the division and me having a win over the champ. I try to look at the bright side. I think there’s a lot of talk about the division and more excitement than there has been in a long time and I don’t think that really revolves around getting rid of the division. I don’t really hear that. I’m excited to see what happens.
“I think it would be different if they traded the champion away and that’s all people know is [Demetrious] being champion but there is a new champion, Benavidez argued. “You look at boxing as far as the skill level and the heavyweight title used to be everything in boxing. Now it’s the smaller guys. I think it’s just time. We have T.J. [Dillashaw] looking like one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and an Olympic champion who is now a UFC champion. Skill wise, it’s there and I think now it’s time to breathe a little more.”
With two losses to Demetrious Johnson, Joseph Benavidez may be the largest beneficiary of a fresh start in the flyweight division, especially given his history with the new champion:
“I have a win over the champion. It’s a really interesting time for some new matchups and maybe people get to focus on some different fights where they didn’t before because Demetrious was such a great champion,” Benavidez said. “When Cejudo beat him, it gave me so much confidence. The skill was never that far off and I just beat Cejudo a few fights before that. I think the execution was just off.
“I’m excited for the division. It’s being talked about more than it has in recent time.”
Do you agree with Joseph Benavidez? Should the flyweight division continue?