Joseph Benavidez won his second straight fight and eight out of his last nine by defeating Dustin Ortiz in a very competitive split-decision victory at UFC Brooklyn. But there was an elephant in the room as Joseph Benavidez had his arm raised following the victory, which is the question of if Saturday would be the last time Benavidez would have his hand raised as a UFC flyweight (Transcript via MMA Junkie):
“How many times can I answer? How am I even supposed to?” Benavidez told reporters about the future of the flyweight division during the post-fight scrum.” You go out there, you fight, you do your thing, these guys fight (for the title). I’m not fighting (for the title). I’m not making decisions. I’ve been here since the beginning, since flyweights stepped foot in here. I’ve been a fan of every flyweight since.
“We finally have new life, a new champion – dude’s an Olympic champion. We have superfights, we’re headlining (cards), there are hundreds, thousands of kids out there trying to be the flyweight champion of the UFC right now. It would be crazy to get rid of something like that not knowing what the future holds, because this is the first real sign of the future in the history of the weight class.”
If the flyweight division does continue, Joseph Benavidez only has one fight in mind: a third crack at the championship. In Benavidez’s first two title fights, he came up short to Demetrious Johnson. Now, the reigning champion is someone whom Benavidez has a victory over, which makes his case much easier to argue than it was last year.
“That’s what I’m here for since the beginning, since the original four – we fought in Australia, and I fought ‘DJ’ (Demetrious Johnson) for the inaugural title. He went on to become the longest-reigning title guy ever. I’m still here calling for the title. I have a win over the champion.
“… The mission has been the same the whole time, since it started, since I laid the groundwork for the division: to be the best in it. So that’s obviously what I want next.”
Do you believe Henry Cejudo will face Joseph Benavidez next?