UFC/MMA News: Benavidez's potential return fight from injury revealed
The former two-time title challenger at 125 is healed and ready to go.
What's the story?
Joseph Benavidez, a veteran of 29 professional fights, is back after a little over a year hiatus. In June of last year, Benavidez was scheduled to fight Ben Nguyen in Auckland, New Zealand for UFC Fight Night 110, but was pulled out due to injury.
In case you didn't know...
The injury was discovered to be a torn ACL and it would sideline Benavidez as he was on the verge of a third opportunity against the flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson.
Now Benavidez is back and scheduled to fight 9 June 2018 at UFC 225 in Chicago, Illinois against Sergio Pettis.
The heart of the matter
Benavidez's opponent is the brother of Anthony Pettis, also a current UFC fighter and former Lightweight Champion. Pettis was on a four-fight win streak before his last outing against Henry Cejudo last December where he lost via unanimous decision
Despite the long layoff, Benavidez is ranked number one in the flyweight division after the current Flyweight Champion Johnson, whereas Pettis is ranked at number five. This fight could be considered as a veteran vs a newcomer. Benavidez may have expected to go against someone more higher up as Benavidez is on a six-fight win streak and Pettis is coming off a loss.
If Pettis were to lose, it would move him to a two-fight skid where he would take another big step backwards, but if he were able to defeat Benavidez, it would be the biggest win of his career. This is a big fight for Benavidez as well, as it could line up the returning fighter with the next title shot against Johnson.
It will be interesting to see how Benavidez looks after the long layoff and the torn ACL. I'm also curious to see how Pettis will look coming off a tough loss before facing a veteran of the octagon such as Benavidez.