Benavidez is booked to fight John Moraga at UFC 187 on May 23rd, which will feature the division’s #2 ranked flyweight taking on the #5 positioned fighter respectively. If Benavidez wins, he’ll remain very much in the title shot mix, despite the fact he’s lost to Johnson on two occasions.
Back in 2012, Benavidez lost a tightly contested, split decision to Johnson, but after scoring three more wins, he was granted a rematch. Benavidez, however, was violently taken out by “Mighty Mouse” when the two met again in December, 2013.
Well, recently the renowned, Team Alpha Male fighter spoke to MMA Junkie.com Radio about the upcoming fight, as well as his title shot future. Here is some of what the perennial contender had to say about his situation, and Johnson (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“I feel I’m always right there,” he said. “It’s just kind of the logic of putting me there, because talent-wise, I think I’m always there and ready to beat everyone and give Demetrious the best fight he could handle. Of course, I believe I can beat him, too.
“It’s just kind of the logic of the fights that make sense. I’m always ready for (a title shot); it just depends if they want to come around, because it’s not easy to sell a third fight.”
It’s a tough position to be in, no question, and Benavidez is in similar territory his teammate Urijah Faber used to occupy. Both men are ridiculously talented fighters, who continue to take out top contenders, but because of losses to the champs (Faber lost to former bantamweight champ Renan Barao twice), making the case for a third crack a the belt is tough.
Now of course, if Johnson were to lose the title, well, Benavidez could be knocking on the championship door. If Johnson remains the champ, however, Benavidez will have a lot more winning to do yet.
Moraga, meanwhile, is coming off consecutive wins over Willie Gates and Justin Scoggins, after he was TKO’d (due to cut) by John Dodson in 2014.
UFC 187 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.