Demetrious Johnson’s profession without end might be intertwined with Joseph Benavidez’s.
The flyweights fought twice in UFC title fights and had been answerable for constructing the lads’s 125-pound division within the UFC as two of the unique 4 fighters within the weight class for the promotion.
It’s been virtually a decade because the delivery of flyweight within the UFC and Johnson now could be the one energetic fighter left from the primary 4. Benavidez introduced his retirement from the game this previous week, forsaking a 15-year profession in skilled combating.
Benavidez by no means turned UFC champion. He was unable to beat Johnson within the two UFC title fights he half took in. Despite not getting his arms on UFC gold, Johnson nonetheless suggestions his hat to Benavidez and says being champion isn’t all the pieces.
“(He had) an amazing career,” Johnson informed MMA Junkie Radio. “Me and Joseph Benavidez shared a variety of time collectively all through our profession – going to see Coldplay earlier than UFC 152, the place me and him competed for the primary flyweight title within the UFC; me and him combating at UFC on FOX 8 in Sacramento, (Calif.); and simply sharing the octagon with him has been a pleasure of mine.
“I remember watching him fight when I used to work full time. He’s had a great career, and I always told him there’s more to fighting than being a world champion. All of the sudden when he has kids, it’s going to change his whole perspective about life. For me, to be able to take my daughter to school this morning, pick her up, come home, cook her lunch, and her sitting on my lap now – this is why I fight, to be able to provide for my family. So for him, I sent him a message on Instagram saying, ‘Congrats on an amazing career. Enjoy the next phase of your life.’ We can’t fight forever. There’s going to be a point in time where I’m going to do the same thing.”
Even although Johnson and Benavidez had been longtime rivals, being the 2 greatest flyweights for a few years, Johnson mentioned he likes him essentially the most out of any opponent he’s ever had. After all, the 2 had been answerable for serving to construct a complete weight class – one thing that in some ways was a group effort and had them share a variety of experiences.
“Me and Joseph spent a lot of time together,” Johnson mentioned. “I might say out of all my opponents, he’s the one I most likely loved spending the time with essentially the most. I bear in mind doing a tour in Australia and going to Brisbane and simply touring throughout Australia and going to the zoo collectively. We did a variety of sh*t collectively that I wouldn’t have finished with some other opponent. But me and him had been making an attempt to construct a division that began in 2012.
“I wish Joseph and Megan (Olivi) nothing but the best. I’m sure they’re going to have beautiful babies and the next phase of their lives is going to be amazing. They’re both positive people. They’ve never been negative, so nothing but the best. What a successful career. Even though he never became a champion, still an amazing career. People are going to look back at his fights and see how good he was, how he fought in both divisions. I mean – legend.”