UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez comes from a wrestling background and trains with a team of top grapplers like Chad Mendes and Urijah Faber. However, fans certainly wouldn’t know it from his recent run of rumbles, as Benavidez has showcased his stand-up and even scored Knockout of the Night honors along the way.
While Benavidez will aim to repeat the feat against Darren Uyenoyama this weekend at UFC on FOX 7, he knows there’s a good chance his ground-game and defense could come into play considering his adversary’s ability in those areas.
“He’s a great fighter. I’ve got nothing but respect for him. He’s probably one of the best grapplers if not the best in the flyweight division. He represents a challenge for anyone in that aspect,” assessed Benavidez in an interview with Sherdog Radio.
If the bout does unfold in a way playing to Uyenoyama’s strengths rather than the all-around attack of Benavidez, the Team Alpha Male staple is open to the challenge and excited about offering up his own display of technique.
“I’d love to show my grappling skills again and show that I’m one of the more dangerous grapplers in the division. It’s a great guy to do it against,” said Benavidez before admitting such wasn’t necessarily the best strategy either in terms of procuring success. “Honestly, it would be smart of me to just not go to the ground at all if that’s where his best area is. That’s what you want to do in fights: You want to stay away from the guy’s best place and beat him at his weaknesses. That’s definitely a good idea.”
The 17-3 Benavidez has won five of his last six fights with the lone exception involving a Split Decision stumble to champ Demetrious Johnson. By comparison, Uyenoyama has come out with his hand raised in three straight including two triumphs in the Octagon.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY