Call it a Napoleon Complex if you must but UFC flyweights Demetrious Johnson, Ian McCall, and Joseph Benavidez have always enjoyed upsetting their detractors. The adversity the 125ers faced throughout their lives has in part led them to tonight’s UFC tournament in Australia where they’ll compete for the right to land a spot in the organization’s first flyweight title-fight.
All three spoke some about their backgrounds, as well as the road they’ve travelled to arrive at UFC on FX 2, in a recent video from the UFC profiling the trio.
“A lot of people would tell me that (I) was too small to do certain things. People would be like, ‘You’re too small! Give it up!’ I was like, ‘Whatever…,’ said Johnson, while opponent McCall explained, “I was a tiny little kid. I always wanted to fight, I love fighting. I love beating people up. I love beating up everyone who is bigger than me.”
While Benavidez may not have directly been told he was too small to be a professional athlete, he’d never realized it was an avenue he could pursue and actually gave up wrestling during his first year in college. After taking a regular job back home, Benavidez soon discovered Mixed Martial Arts and the rest is history.
“I saw people doing this sport around my city of Las Cruces and I was like, ‘I can beat these guys up. Why are these guys fighting?’ Took up MMA and I just love this sport, it became a passion of mine. I was doing it at as a hobby, doing a regular job and doing that after work,” revealed the Team Alpha Male fighter.
Before long Benavidez decided he’d found his calling, packed his bags, and headed out West where a chance encounter with Urijah Faber changed his life.
UFC on FX 2 starts tonight at 9:00 PM EST and features a main event between welterweights Martin Kampmann-Thiago Alves. Prelims begin at approximately 6:00 PM EST on Facebook/Fuel TV.
Check out the full video below featuring the aforementioned flyweights as well as bantamweight stand-outs Faber and Dominick Cruz:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC