Mixed martial arts news reporter Megan Olivi is used to being present at most UFC Fight Nights and pay-per-views and this Saturday is not going to be any different but at UFC on ESPN+ 27, only she won't be present backstage conducting interviews; instead, she will be present Octagon side watching her husband Joseph Benavidez fight for the UFC flyweight title in the main event as UFC takes over Norfolk.
Benavidez is set to go toe to toe with Deiveson Figueiredo in the quest for capturing the now vacant flyweight title after former champion Henry Cejudo announced his decision to vacate the title to focus on his next title defense at bantamweight against former featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
As her husband prepares to step inside the Octagon for one of the biggest fights of his life, Olivi, who usually doesn't watch her husband fight, is going to be cheering Benavidez as a spectator. In a recent interaction with MMA Junkie, Olivi revealed that the last time she was present Octagon side for Benavidez's fight was in 2013 because she gets nervous when he fights.
“He was the co-main event on an ESPN card in June and I was doing live hits and interviews throughout the night, and it’s great. I like being able to stay busy and stuff. But when I don’t work, I don’t watch Joe fight. This will be the first fight since the first (Jussier) Formiga fight (in September 2013) where he knocked him out in Brazil, this will be the first one I’m Octagon side for. Joseph doesn’t get nervous, but I get really nervous, so I just feel like God gives me both of our nerves and I just carry those for the 15 or 25 minutes.”
Speaking about the fight, Olivi said that though she believes Benavidez is more than ready to go out there and get the job done, the fact that she can't do anything to help him once the cage door shuts is what makes things difficult for her.
“I have the utmost confidence in his ability; I know how hard he works, and there’s nothing I can do to help. I can’t go in there and be like, ‘I got this.’ I haven’t watched a lot of his other fights back, but I will be watching this one. Our friends and family are all coming, so I have an awesome support system, and he is so great on fight day that I don’t have to worry about him. He’s not nervous. He’s not one of those guys you see backstage who is getting sick or crying or anything like that. He’s genuinely so excited and can’t wait to go out there that it does make everything so much easier for me.”Published 28 Feb 2020, 04:15 IST