Two-time UFC flyweight title challenger Joseph Benavidez is coming off the first TKO loss of his 23-fight career, as Demetrious Johnson dispatched Benavidez in just over two minutes last December. The loss marked the first time ‘Joe B-Wan Kenobi’ had been finished as a pro, but he has only lost to two men (DJ and Dominick Cruz) who are both as high-calibre as it gets.
Benavidez stopped by to talk with The Shoot! recently, check out what he had to say about his championship loss to ‘Mighty Mouse’:
“I know I’m better than that, it could have been a really awesome fight. You wouldn’t think you’d have too much to prove as the number two; the next best guy, but coming off a loss, I have a lot to gain. I’ve realized, through fighting, that you can’t control these things. They’re wins and losses. Just be the best you can. I fought for the title twice in a year, and that’s just the goal.”
Moving forward positively, JB eyes his UFC 172 match up with ‘The Wichita Southpaw’ Tim Elliot:
“My next opponent is Tim Elliot, and I think he is a great fighter. If you’ve ever seen any of his fights you know that he is super-exciting. I think he is right up there in the top tier of the division. I have to beat him, and I want to beat him worse than these other guys that are going for the title. It’s going to be a fun fight.”
An impressive win against Elliot could well see Benavidez on the path to another title shot, and another chance to bring home a belt for Team Alpha Male. The successful Sacramento-based gym homes such fighters as Urijah Faber, Danny Castillo, Chad Mendes and TJ Dillashaw. JB then talks about the team’s former head coach, Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig:
“I really miss Duane with his departure, but you can’t fault the guy. You know, he has family and has things to do and take care. But man, I hate it, I really miss the guy. Every time I’m done with a session with Duane I’m like, man, I’m really gonna miss this.”
Benavidez has the absence of friend and coach Duane Ludwig, and a brutal loss to the champion to put behind him as he prepares for war at 172. I have a feeling that he will be successful in his quest for another title shot, and the proof will be in the pudding against Tim Elliot this Saturday.