Joseph Benavidez Questions Friendship with T.J. Dillashaw

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Joseph Benavidez feels
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Rumors of the flyweight division being at stake in the UFC Brooklyn main event have remained steady leading into Saturday’s event, and neither of the two combatants, Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw, have shied away from them. Dillashaw has even boasted that he was handpicked to be the man to close the flyweight division with a victory over Cejudo in the Barclays Center. Training partner of Dillashaw, Joseph Benavidez is well aware of the rumors as well as Dillashaw’s nonchalance about the future of the flyweight division, and speaking to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, stated that Dillashaw’s impudence has caused Benavidez to rethink their friendship (Transcript via Bloody Elbow):

“Eh… I mean, we were really good friends and really close,” Benavidez said. “I mean, things are a little compromised now. It’s easy to say you’re a friend and this guy’s a friend and this guy is a friend of mine, but it’s more like, to act like a friend.

“I think some of the stuff he said, like, about the division and stuff? That’s when I was kinda, like, questioning it. Like, that’s cool, you’re really going down and doing something for yourself by getting two belts. That’s amazing. TJ has an amazing drive and he’s where he’s at because of that drive. But you also have friends – me and other people included – in the division you’re saying you want to shut down. So that was more when I started to question it.”

Joseph Benavidez will be competing against Duston Ortiz on the card and has been tapped as a potential replacement for Dillashaw should the challenger not make weight. Benavidez does not hold Dillashaw’s skipping the flyweight queue to challenge Henry Cejudo against him, it is Dillashaw’s remarks about closing the division that has caused Benavidez to reconsider his friendship with Dillashaw.

“Him dropping down and all that stuff? Didn’t make me question the friendship at all,” Benavidez said. It was just, like, I would never stop someone from achieving their goals. But, trying to go out and take the things away from people while doing it is kinda like, ‘Oh, well…” That made me question our friendship.”

What are your thoughts on Joseph Benavidez’s comments regarding his compromised friendship with T.J. Dillashaw?