During his time as a bantamweight, Joseph Benavidez established himself as one of the top 135-pounders in MMA despite having a disadvantage based on his diminutive proportions. However, as a flyweight Benavidez feels he’ll finally show the world his true potential based on the level playing field.
“The creation of the UFC flyweight division changed my career. I kept hearing it was coming but I sort of stopped believing it would ever happen. When they told me I was going to be in a four –man tournament for the new UFC flyweight title, it was like my career started again,” admitted Benavidez in an interview with the UFC. “Now I get to fight in the style I wanted to all along but couldn’t, because I was fighting bigger guys. Now I get to walk forward, intimidate, seek and destroy. I couldn’t do that against guys like Dominick Cruz because he had that extra 10 or 12 percent more natural size and strength.”
The 28-year old Benavidez fought Cruz, the UFC’s 135-pound champion, on two occasions but came up short in both instances by way of decision. Of course, with a new title on the horizon, the Team Alpha Male is only looking forward with the added motivation of making history.
“I want to be the first UFC flyweight champion so bad I can taste it. Everyone remembers #1…everyone remembers George Washington was the first president. I want to be remembered in 20, 30, 80 years, I want to be the first name in the record books and no-one is going to stop me from making that dream a reality,” concluded a clearly excited Benavidez.
UFC 152 is scheduled for September 22 and features a title-bout between light heavyweight Jon Jones and legendary competitor Vitor Belfort in the main event.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC