Joseph Benavidez fell short in what was likely his final UFC title shot.
Benavidez took on Deiveson Figueiredo in a rematch at UFC on ESPN+ 30. The bout was contested for the vacant UFC flyweight championship. Figueiredo stopped Benavidez via second-round TKO back in February but he didn’t win the 125-pound gold because he missed weight. This time, Figueiredo’s weight was on point and he demolished Benavidez with several knockdowns and the rear-naked choke finish. Benavidez went out cold as he never tapped.
Joseph Benavidez Talks UFC on ESPN+ 30 Loss
Speaking to reporters during the UFC on ESPN+ 30 post-fight press conference, Benavidez said that while he knows he likely won’t be getting another title opportunity going forward, he doesn’t plan to hang up his gloves yet (h/t Aaron Bronsteter).
“This is my fourth title shot, it takes a lot of perseverance to get there again and again… I remember the way it felt after that last fight and I couldn’t control it… I was obviously not broken, I never wanted to quit. 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.”
Figueiredo is the first man to stop Benavidez since Dec. 2013 when Demetrious Johnson knocked him out. Figueiredo has now pulled this feat off twice. Benavidez’s pro MMA record falls to 28-7. At this point, many are wondering when the 35-year-old will call it a career. He has proven to be a problem for everyone in the flyweight division until he receives a title shot. He rarely loses non-title fights.
With Joseph Benavidez’s plan to keep fighting, where do you think he goes from here?