Joseph Benavidez owns victories above a former UFC two-division champion (Henry Cejudo), two former WEC champs (Miguel Torres and Eddie Wineland), a previous Bellator titleholder (Zach Makovsky), and three UFC title challengers (Ali Baguatinov, John Moraga, and Tim Elliott).
Bear in mind that next time somebody fixates on the truth Benavidez came up small in his title troubles about the study course of his vocation.
Although we’re at it, Benavidez’s following victory in the UFC flyweight division will split his tie with the division’s all-time normal-bearer, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, for most in record, which is now 13. Considering the fact that he’s not retiring right after his loss to Deiveson Figueiredo in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 30 main party which loaded the vacant belt, we’re self-assured in indicating the only issue that would halt him from attaining this feat would be a choice to go up to bantamweight.
Bear in mind that, way too, when you explore the profession legacy of the before long-to-be-36 12 months outdated from Las Cruces, N.M.
Benavidez dropped to -4 in UFC title fights on Saturday night, with his next decline to Figueiredo in as numerous endeavours in 2020. Benavidez similarly dropped two fights to Johnson, and right before that, two to WEC bantamweight normal-bearer Dominick Cruz (one particular right before Cruz turned champion).
Inquire the Buffalo Charges of the 1990s how straightforward it is to fixate on a statistic like -4. The group was just one of the finest in NFL record, boasting five long term Pro Football Hall of Famers, an HOF head mentor, and gained 4 consecutive AFC championships. All that outstanding participate in receives reduced to not then successful the Super Bowl on every of individuals four occasions.
Make no mistake: the situations which individual the champions from the top rated contenders can be razor-skinny. The Costs missing the Tremendous Bowl to the Giants in 1991 soon after kicker Scott Norwood scarcely skipped what would have been a video game-profitable field goal at the conclude. If that kick is a couple toes to the remaining, they’re not even in this discussion. Never believe that? The Boston Bruins are 1-7 in the Stanley Cup Finals considering that Bobby Orr’s groups won two in the 1970s, a stretch which features some of the most horrific meltdowns in the historical past of sports. But they eked a person out in 2011, and get spared from these type of lists.
Benavidez 2 times fought to break up decisions in title fights: In a WEC 40 in a decline to Cruz, and at UFC 152 in a decline to Johnson in the bout to crown the UFC’s initially 125-pound champ. In the two contests, just one of the playing cards which went towards him was 48-47, this means he was two times just one round on one particular judges’ card from successful a important title. 1 spherical flips on 1 card in either of all those fights and we’re not acquiring this dialogue now.
That is the distinction which places Benavidez along with anyone like Chael Sonnen, who owns seven victories above adult men who held key belts, as a substitute of Michael Bisping, who seemed destined to go down as the greatest UFC fighter never to win the significant a person ahead of he capitalized from Luke Rockhold in 2017.
Of class, Sonnen bought caught dishonest far more than as soon as, and his plight led to a feeling of schadenfreude between a lot of. Which is far from the scenario with Benavidez, who has by no means had so significantly as a whiff of a scandal about him. He’s universally regarded on the within as just one of the serious superior fellas in a business enterprise which does not have practically adequate of them. Spouse Megan Olivi does an exceptional occupation as an interviewer, initial with FOX and now ESPN. They’re both of those considered approachable, a reporter’s aspiration of an interview, these inside the UFC like working with them, and they address the supporters good.
Which made Saturday’s battle all the more hard to look at. Figueiredo absolutely sure appears to be like like the future Fantastic One particular of the lighter body weight lessons, and it was apparent from the instant he dropped Benavidez in the opening seconds this was heading to be Figgy’s coronation.
That Benavidez fought the inescapable as valiantly as he did — all the way to likely out fairly than tapping out — was an admirable coda to this story.
“I’ve died freaking 100 periods,” Benavidez told MMA Junkie during an emotional post-fight press convention. “What’s another loss of life? It’s unique because I know I did everything ideal in preparing. I did not acquire any shortcuts. I did anything ideal. … I felt superior in there, truthfully. I felt targeted and current even with the no group. Fights go fast but I could see small actions felt targeted.”
And which is how Benavidez, who is not by means of nevertheless, really should be remembered: As anyone who did every little thing suitable. Somebody who generally dusted himself off when he was knocked down, picked himself again up, vowed to make improvements to his craft, then went out and did so. Anyone who would have gotten a lot more credit history for his favourable perspective and relentless do the job ethic in advance of the sport was overrun by Twitter trolls and poor-faith actors.
There are a good deal of previous NBA benchwarmers functioning all over with several rings since they had the dumb luck of taking part in on the exact same team as Michael Jordon or Kobe Bryant. Meanwhile, Charles Barkley and John Stockton don’t have rings. Which is not negative business to have.