Joseph Benavidez has challenged twice for the UFC Flyweight Title and he has lost in both of those title fights.
With another shot at the gold out of view for the time being, the flyweight contender has been struggling to get fights with big name opponents.
“It’s all hearsay. I never saw anyone say, ‘Hey, I’m not gonna fight you because of this, and I wanna do this,'” Benavidez told MMA Junkie. “You never know. I’m talking, at first, to fight Pettis, for instance. ‘Hey, it’s perfect – we’re both on win streaks, that’s a fight to happen …’ They said, ‘How does that sound?’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ I was told he was offered me and they said, ‘He’d rather fight someone else – if he’s going to fight someone above him, it’s Cejudo.’ I can’t speak for anyone else saying they turned it down, but they came to me and said, ‘He wants to fight Cejudo more, and we’re gonna let him do it because (Cejudo) is ranked above (Pettis).’ That doesn’t make any sense. Why are you going to let someone turn down a fight and then pick an opponent?”
Benavidez has only suffered two losses in his fifteen fight UFC career, both coming in those aforementioned flyweight title bouts.
Ben Nguyen is fighting Benavidez next at UFC Fight Night 110 and the former title challenger credits Nguyen for stepping up.
“It’s hard because that’s what I was working with – once that Pettis fight left me and the ‘Mighty Mouse’ fight left me, and the Reis fight left me -- those were the options I had,” Benavidez said. “Ben Nguyen was the one to step up.”
UFC Fight Night 110 takes place on Saturday, June 10 from the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand with Derrick Lewis and Mark Hunt headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.