Joseph Benavidez is all set to take on Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant Flyweight Championship at UFC Norfolk. The 125-pound title hasn't been defended in 13 months, with the last fight being a "Super fight" between Henry Cejudo and former Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw.
Cejudo retained the title and went on to beat "Magic" Marlon Moraes to become the Bantamweight Champion. The 125-pound title is now vacant and after nearly seven years, Benavidez will be getting a crack at the title.
His last attempt was against the all-time great Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, who he lost to twice. He does, however, have a win over Cejudo before the latter became the Flyweight Champion.
When asked about whether he would rather face Cejudo over Figueiredo in a media interview (H/T MMA Junkie), Benavidez said no and that if he did, it would turn into a circus.
“No, honestly not at all. It’s honestly refreshing. This is like, beautiful. We’re in a quiet place. It’s peaceful, like a quiet town; we’re right by the beach. It’s just low-key. It’s nice. I think it would just be a circus with ‘Triple C,’ and not to mention, I already beat him and fought him, and the goal is to win a title, not to beat a guy you’ve already beat. Like that’s the last thing you want to do, honestly. The only thing that’s appealing is the title, not him. So it’s always been about the title, not fighting him again."
He admitted that it would be a lot harder if he faced Johnson since he was beaten by him before:
“I think it would be harder if it was ‘DJ’ or something or someone that beat me. It’s like, ‘Ah, I’m never going to beat them, but at least I’m getting the title opportunity.’ I already beat the guy, and it was up to him to not come try and avenge a loss and not put up a fight and do something else, so it’s easy for me when I already have a win over him.”
Benavidez seems to have a different approach towards fighting and life outside the Octagon. He's expected to walk out as Flyweight Champion on Saturday, but it's hard to outright rule out the Brazilian challenger.Published 28 Feb 2020, 13:06 IST