The fighter, who just signed a new four fight deal with the UFC, calls the lead up to the event a roller coaster ride.
“It was a really chaotic roller coaster,” he said at a UFC Fight Night Brooklyn media event (via MMA Junkie).
Benavidez first fought Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 57 over four years ago, with Benavidez scoring a unanimous decision win on that night.
Deiveson Figueiredo was supposed to fight Benavidez in Brooklyn, but Benavidez says the fighter kept changing his mind on whether or not to accept the bout.
“He actually changed his mind three times in an hour,” Benavidez said. “I was in one workout, and they called me and said, ‘Figueiredo doesn’t want to fight because it’s a week earlier, but you’re going to be a backup.’ I was like, ‘Oh, that’s super motivating in my workout right now.’ But I’m just like, whatever. Literally 15 minutes later, they call, and (the UFC matchmaker says), ‘Oh, nevermind. It’s on. He thought it would be bad, but it’s a good opportunity, so he’s back on.’ So I’m like, that’s amazing. Motivated again. And then by the end of my workout, I got another call that he’s out. So I’m talking to people about my fight, but it’s changing the story every time. They’re like, ‘Oh, so Figueiredo?’ I’d be like, ‘What did I tell you last?'”
UFC Fight Night Brooklyn takes place on Saturday, January 19 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.