Yes, Benavidez continues to rack up wins at 125, but because he’s been defeated by the reigning champ Demetrious Johnson twice, the vet’s in an interesting, yet tough position.
The Team Alpha Male fighter was KO’d by Johnson just last December, so it’s too early to give him another title fight, yet he is currently ranked #2. He also, already, holds wins over fellow contenders like Jussier “Formiga”, Ian McCall, and Timothy Elliott, so that further complicates, match-making matters.
Well, evidently Benavidez has no ideas in mind for his next fight either, as following his win on Saturday he relayed (comments via MMA Junkie.com):
“In the position, I’m in, No. 2 in the world, it doesn’t make sense to call anybody out,” he said. “Like, ‘Oh, I’m going to fight that guy. He’s ranked No. 10.’ That does nothing for you. So most of the fights, I’m comfortable with. I’m not going to have a ton to gain from them, but I’ve got to get in these little battles and things that motivate me, like beating him worse than anyone, just using it as a thing to get better.”
“There’s no one in particular I want to fight,” Benavidez furthered. “I know the matchmakers have done a great job since I’ve been in this position, matching me up in my last fight with Tim Elliott and this fight with Ortiz. So I’m just excited to see what they have on board for me next, and I’ll be ready. I’m just going to keep doing my thing.”
If for some bizarre reason you’re not sold on just how tough and skilled Benavidez is, consider that the only other man who has defeated him is Dominick Cruz (twice). No shame in that.
Since arriving in the UFC, in 2011, Benavidez has gone 8-2.
So, it will be interesting to see when and who Benavidez fights next. If the Sacramento fighter can keep knocking off contenders, then perhaps a third bout with Johnson will materialize at some juncture.
UFC FN 57 went down on Saturday night in Austin, Texas.